58-year-old legendary athlete P.T. Usha, has been elected as the President of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).
P T Usha was the lone contender who filed the nomination for the post of President of IOA. Till the deadline day, November 27, there was no other nomination that lead to the legendary sprinter’s appointment to the post.
PT Usha has become the first woman to become the President of the IOA in its 95-year history. She is also the first Olympian and and international medalist to take over the top post.
“Congratulations to legendary Golden Girl, Smt. P T Usha on being elected as the President of Indian Olympic Association. I also congratulate all the sporting heroes of our country on becoming the office bearers of the prestigious IOA! A nation is proud of them!,” tweeted Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju who was previously the Union Sports Minister.
PT Usha is one of the most accomplished athletes in India. She won 11 medals at the Asian Games between 1982 and 1994. In the 10th Asian Games held at Seoul in 1986, she won 4 gold and 1 silver in the track and field events. In the 1985 Jakarta Asian Championships, P T Usha won 6 medals- five gold and one bronze. From 1983-1989, she bagged 13 gold medals at ATF meets. At the 1984 Olympics, she missed out on a podium finish in the women’s 400m hurdles category by 1/100th of a second.
Last week PT Usha was among the eight Sportspersons of Outstanding Merit (SOMs), selected by the Athletes’ Commission of the IOA. Olympic medal-winning wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt, former hockey player M M Somaya, tennis player Rohit Rajpal, boxer Akhil Kumar, shooter Suma Shirur, badminton player Aparna Popat and archer Dola Banerjee are the other seven SOMs.
The IOA Athletes’ Commission has chosen boxing legend MC Mary Kom as its president while table tennis star Sharath Kamal is elected as her deputy.