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Khel Ratna, Arjuna awardees hail Usha's election as IOA President

India's top sportspersons, including Khel Ratna awardee Achanta Sharath Kamal, hailed PT Usha's election as new IOA president.

Khel Ratna, Arjuna awardees hail Ushas election as IOA President


Updated: 30 Nov 2022 2:17 PM GMT

India's top sportspersons, including Khel Ratna awardee Achanta Sharath Kamal, on Wednesday hailed PT Usha's election as new Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president, saying her elevation to the top post was the best thing to have happened to the country's sports administration in recent times.

With no other contestants in the fray, Usha is all set to become the first woman president of IOA on December 10, when she will be formally elected as the head of the country's sports apex body. She will also become the first Olympian as well as the first international medallist to head the IOA.

"It's really great that PT Usha, a woman sports icon of the nation for many years, is being elected as the next IOA president. With Usha as the IOA chief, India will get more medals at international events including Olympics," Sharath Kamal told PTI hours before being being bestowed with the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award.

"This is the best thing that could have happened to Indian sports administration in recent times."

The veteran paddler, who is also the vice-president of the recently-formed Athletes' Commission of the IOA, is expecting a lot of positive changes in the country's sports administration in the coming days.

"I am happy for two reasons. One, she (Usha) is one of India's greatest sportspersons, and secondly a woman is being elected as IOA chief. This is a double delight. I think she will be able to bring about a lot of positive changes in the administration and take Indian sports to newer heights."

Arjuna Awardee Paralympian and former world champion Manasi Joshi said: "She (Usha) is aware of sports administration in India and has a lot of experience. She has great stature and credibility. This will only benefit the IOA and Indian sports in the long run."

"She is training young athletes, she understands the problems of sportspersons and I am sure she will work towards their upliftment. I feel proud that both the Olympics and Paralympics are now headed by two iconic sportspersons with Deepa Malik as the PCI president," she added.

Shuttler HS Prannoy, who also received Arjuna Award on Wednesday, said: "It is a great step in the right direction. She is capable of doing wonders for Indian sports as she knows Olympic sports inside out."

Another Arjuna awardee, shooter Elavenil Valarivan feels Usha can set new benchmark in Indian sports administration.

Chess Grandmaster Rameshbabu Praggnandhaa, one of the Arjuna award recipients, said: "It's really good for Indian sports that top sportspersons are being considered for the top job."

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