Vithya Ramraj narrowly misses PT Usha’s 400m hurdle record

Image courtesy: Deccan Herrald

During the Indian Grand Prix 5, Asian Games-bound athlete R Vithya Ramraj from Tamil Nadu nearly shattered PT Usha’s 39-year-old national record in the women’s 400m hurdles. She sprinted across the finish line in 55.43 seconds, falling short by just one-hundredth of a second compared to Usha’s historic 55.42 seconds, achieved during the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

PT Usha’s record is the second oldest standing national record in Indian athletics, second only to Shivnath Singh’s marathon record set in 1978. Usha, now serving as the president of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), has been an icon in Indian sports.

Expressing her admiration for Usha, Vithya said, “Madam Usha is so talented, and that is why her record stood for so long. I wanted to break the record; it was in my mind before the race today. I wanted to be the new Ma’am (Usha).”

Vithya recognized that a slightly slower start in the first 200m of her race may have cost her the record-breaking moment. However, she remains determined and has her sights set on the Asian Games, where she plans to make another attempt at breaking the national record. Her impressive performance underscores the ongoing pursuit of excellence in Indian athletics and the enduring legacy of PT Usha’s remarkable achievements.

Re-reported from the article originally published in The Deccan Herrald

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