Vithya Ramraj Matches PT Usha’s 400m Hurdles Record, Secures Asian Games Final Spot

Indian athlete Vithya Ramraj equals PT Usha’s 40-year-old National Record in the women’s 400m hurdles, advancing to the Asian Games final.

On a remarkable day at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Complex, Indian athlete Vithya Ramraj set the track ablaze as she equaled the legendary PT Usha’s 40-year-old National Record in the women’s 400m hurdles at the 19th Asian Games. Vithya’s achievement on Monday marked a significant milestone in Indian athletics.

Vithya, a 24-year-old from Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, had faced moments of doubt in her athletics career when breakthroughs on the international stage seemed elusive. However, in the morning session of Monday’s heats, she clocked an impressive 55.42 seconds in the 400m hurdles, matching one of the longest-standing records in Indian athletics history.

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PT Usha, currently serving as the president of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), had originally set this National Record during the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, narrowly missing out on a bronze medal.

Competing in the first heat, Vithya initially had a slow start but swiftly made up ground, finishing first ahead of Bahrain’s Jamal Aminat Oluwaseun Yusuf. Her exceptional performance not only secured her a personal best time but also equaled PT Usha’s historic record.

A few weeks prior, Vithya had come tantalizingly close to breaking Usha’s record when she clocked 55.43 seconds, missing the mark by just 0.01 seconds. In Hangzhou on Monday, she finally managed to equal that time, securing the second-best timing in the competition, with Bahrain’s Oluwakemi Mujidat Adekoya leading the pack in Heat 2 with a timing of 55.17 seconds. Adekoya, an African import representing Bahrain, will be the one to watch in the final race, where Vithya will aim to surpass Usha’s historic record.

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