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Asian Games

Asian Games: Vithya Ramraj equals 39-year-old national record of PT Usha

Hurdler Vithya Ramraj has equalled the four-decade-old national record of PT Usha in the 400m hurdles at the Asian Games.

Asian Games: Vithya Ramraj equals 39-year-old national record of PT Usha
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Vithya Ramraj wins the 400m hurdles gold at IGP 5 (AFI)

By

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 2 Oct 2023 6:47 AM GMT

Vithya Ramraj equalled the 39-year-old national record of legendary PT Usha in the 400m hurdles at the ongoing Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, on Monday.

In Heat 1 of 400m hurdles, Vithya clocked 55.42s to equal the national record set by PT Usha back in 1984 at the Los Angeles Olympics and booked her berth for the final.

Earlier at the Indian Grand Prix in Chandigarh, Vithya came agonisingly close to breaking the record when she clocked 55.43s to achieve her personal best.

The 24-year-old Vithya's time was just one-hundredth of a second less than Usha's 55.42.

PT Usha's record is the second oldest national record in athletics after Shivnath Singh's marathon NR of 1978.

Vithya, who has grown up idolising Usha, said after her race at the IGP," 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)."

Hailing from Coimbatore, Vithya has been on a constant rise in 400m hurdles from the past year as she has bettered her personal best thrice.

Vithya clocked 56.57s at the National Games in October 2022. She bettered that record at the Inter-State Championships with a timing of 56.01s in June 2023. Now, in the space of three weeks, she has bettered her personal best twice.

"I would have broken the national record today itself. But the Asian Games is coming up, and I will try to break the NR there," Vithya had said after her race at the IGP 5.

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