New Delhi: Legendary sprinter PT Usha was on Saturday elected the first woman president of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), ushering in a new era in Indian sports administration. The 58-year-old Usha, who won multiple medals at the Asian Games and finished fourth in the 400m hurdles at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, was declared elected unopposed to the top post after the elections.
The elections were conducted under the supervision of Nageswara Rao, a former Supreme Court judge appointed by the Supreme Court. The election of Usha as the President also ended the crisis caused by factional politics in the IOA. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) this month threatened to suspend the IOA if it did not hold elections. These elections were to be held in December 2021.
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Usha’s election to the top post was finalized last month as she was the only candidate to file nomination for the post of president. None opposed Usha, who was nominated to the Rajya Sabha by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in July. Usha, popularly known as ‘Payyoli Express’ and ‘Udan Pari’, was seen as a candidate of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
She is the first Olympian and the first international medalist to become the president in the IOA’s 95-year history. With this, another achievement has been added to his achievements. Usha dominated Indian and Asian athletics for two decades before retiring in 2000.
Usha is the first player to represent the country. Along with this, she is also the first player after Maharaja Yadvendra Singh to become the IOA chief. Yadvendra Singh played a Test match in 1934. He was the President of IOA from 1938 to 1960. (agency)
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