The legendary athlete PT Usha has been elected president of the Indian Olympic Association

The Indian Olympic Association’s president was chosen on Monday to be the legendary Indian athlete PT Usha (IOA).

The legendary athlete PT Usha has been elected president of the Indian Olympic Association

Usha was barely 1/100th of a second short of a bronze medal in the 400-meter hurdles event at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, yet she still went on to become a household name in athletics.

Known as the “Payyoli Express” after the town in Kerala, South India, where she was born, she dominated Indian athletics for over two decades, retiring in 2000 after winning 11 Asian Games medals, including four golds.

Her election, which is legally required to take place on December 10, will mark a significant shift in the way Indian sports are currently organized. For years, administrators have controlled the majority of Indian sports.

Yadavindra Singh, the Maharaja of Patiala, who participated in one cricket Test match in 1934, served as IOA president from 1938 until 1960.

Following were a series of bureaucrats and state-level cricketers, with senior administrator Narinder Batra stepping down as IOA president earlier this year after being forced to do so by a Delhi court. He had assumed the position in December 2017.

Before India’s highest court ordered new elections, an interim leader was appointed.

The veteran sprinter received congratulations from Kiren Rijiju, the union law minister and former minister of sports. The 58-year-old announced her candidacy for the top position in the IOA elections next month on November 26 via social media.

On November 27, the IOA elections’ nomination period came to a close. Before November 27, there were no nominations for the top position submitted to Umesh Sinha, the IOA elections returning officer. Nevertheless, 24 individuals on Sunday submitted their candidacy for a range of positions.

Usha is one of India’s most accomplished athletes. At the Asian Games, she earned four gold medals and seven silver medals.

Usha is one of eight athletes of exceptional merit (SOMs) chosen by the newly-elected Athletes Commission to cast a ballot in the December 10 election for the new executive committee of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).

The remaining seven SOMs are M.M. Somaya (hockey), Yogeshwar Dutt (wrestling), Rohit Rajpal (tennis), Akhil Kumar (boxing), Suma Shirur (shooting), Aparna Popat (badminton), and Dola Banerjee (archery).

On November 15, the Supreme Court ruled that its directives regarding the Indian Olympic Association’s (IOA) adoption of a constitution and election of its executive committee shall be carefully adhered to.

According to the bench, there is general agreement that the polls should be held on December 10 as stated in the note filed by Justice Rao.

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