After injury, hurdler Jyothi Yarraji set for inter-state meet - Hindustan Times
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After injury, hurdler Jyothi Yarraji set for inter-state meet

ByRutvick Mehta
Jun 25, 2024 10:37 PM IST

The 100m hurdles national record holder is back on track ahead of the Olympics after a hip flexor problem

Mumbai: Back to her training base in Navi Mumbai after last month’s competitions stacked Europe trip where she matched her national record and signed off with a DNF (did not finish), Jyothi Yarraji is rebuilding towards peaking at the Paris Olympics with a stopover at this week’s inter-state meet in Panchkula, Haryana.

After injury, hurdler Jyothi Yarraji set for inter-state meet
After injury, hurdler Jyothi Yarraji set for inter-state meet

The DNF at the Motonet Grand Prix in Lahti, Finland a month ago was a result of a minor hip flexor injury India’s top 100m hurdler picked up in a run two days prior that matched her personal best. Despite hitting the final hurdle and almost tripping, Yarraji clocked 12.78 secs at the Motonet GP Jyvaskyla. It equalled her national record of 2023 and nearly made her cross over to the direct qualification category for the Paris Games (12.77 secs is the qualification mark), although she is comfortably placed to get into the Olympics on ranking.

The hurdle hit caused the hip flexor injury from which she has recovered and it should not be a concern for Paris (the 100m hurdles heats are on August 7). The inter-state meet starting on Thursday will be the Asian Games silver medallist’s first competitive run since the injury.

“I have it in my mind to do my personal best (at the inter-state). But I don’t know. Because of the hurdle hit, I was facing a little hip flexor pain. I’ll just try my best,” Yarraji said. “The injury has completely healed, but I’m just coming back to the track gradually.

“But I’m 100 percent sure that I’ll be ready for the Olympics and that I’ll give my absolute best there,” she added.

Her coach James Hillier said they’ve had to do “a little bit of a rebuild post the Europe trip”. “The Olympics shouldn’t be an issue though; she should be fully fit and healthy by then,” he added.

After the inter-state, the plan is to head to Poland for a training camp and “pick up a competition, maybe two, in Europe in July” in making Yarraji peak towards Paris, outlined the coach.

Hillier and Yarraji reckoned that if not for that final hurdle hit, she would’ve bettered her national record by a significant margin and thereby achieved the direct Olympic qualification mark. But still in clocking 12.78 secs, despite a lengthy 13-hour travel the previous day in getting to Finland, the Andhra athlete again showed her growing ability to deal with challenges and deliver.

“The fact that she can run effectively her PB (personal best) after something that could break another athlete...she just dealt with it. These are really positive experiences for her to go through, and for us in trying to build her into a complete athlete,” said Hillier.

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