Record-breaking Jyothi Yarraji takes World University bronze - Hindustan Times
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Record-breaking Jyothi Yarraji takes World University bronze

Aug 05, 2023 07:52 PM IST

Her run at Shuangliu Sports Centre was her ninth sub-13s effort, seven of those coming from 17 starts this year

Fresh from her Asian Championships gold medal in Bangkok where she clocked 13.09 seconds three weeks ago, hurdler Jyothi Yarraji ran an impressive 12.78 seconds on Friday to win a bronze medal at the World University Games in Chengdu, China.

The 23-year-old from Vizag rewrote her own national record for an incredible tenth time(SAI Media )
The 23-year-old from Vizag rewrote her own national record for an incredible tenth time(SAI Media )

In the process, the 23-year-old from Vizag rewrote her own national record for an incredible tenth time. The feat is even more astounding if one considers the fact that it was only last year that she broke Anuradha Biswal's 20-year record of 13.38s. She remains the only Indian woman to run 100m hurdles in less than 13 seconds, and her run at Shuangliu Sports Centre was her ninth sub-13s effort, seven of those coming from 17 starts this year.

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Starting in Lane 6, Yarraji overcame her typical slow start at the 60m mark with a powerful burst of energy as she leapt over the hurdles with customary fluidity. When the race ended, only 0.06s separated the top three. Slovakia’s Viktoria Forster won gold with a timing of 12.72s, while China’s Yanni Wu won silver, clocking 12.76s.

Each of the top three recorded personal bests. Yarraji's previous best was 12.82s, which she had achieved at the National Open Athletics Championships in Bengaluru in 2022.

Her effort, however, fell 0.01 seconds short of meeting the Paris Olympics qualifying mark of 12.77s. Commenting on the race, James Hillier, Athletics Director at Reliance Foundation, said, “This is another impressive performance for Jyothi. Incredibly, it comes with a personal best and national record number 10. What makes the effort even more special is that it came in the final of a global championships."

On Thursday, Yarraji topped the heats with a time of 13.12s before returning on Friday to ace the semi-finals, registering 13.05s on the clock. She saved her best for the final, earning some lavish praise from Hillier.

"She held her nerves well in the final and controlled herself through the qualifying rounds to save energy for the final. I am very impressed. This is a great performance and another step towards the World Championships and the Asian Games,” he remarked.

Yarraji's medal was India’s second athletics medal in Chengdu after Bhavani Bhagavathi Yadav claimed a bronze in the women’s long jump event on Wednesday. Once done with the University Games, Yarraji will fly straight to Budapest for her maiden Worlds before returning to China for the Asian Games in Hangzhou.

Amlan claims bronze

Sprinter Amlan Borgohain ran 20.55s -- his best time of the season -- to win bronze in the men’s 200m event in the evening session. For perspective, Borgohain's time was good enough for an Asian Games bronze in 2018, a silver in 2014 and 2010.

The 25-year-old's time was just 0.03 seconds short of his personal best and national record. He finished behind South Africa’s Isadore Tsebo Matsoso (20.36s) and Japan’s Yudai Nishi (20.46s). The Indian had topped the heats on Thursday with a time of 21.00s, and made it to the final after clocking 20.57s.

"Amlan has worked really hard in the lead-up to the tournament. To clock two of his four fastest timings ever in the semis and final is a superlative effort for him. To get a medal in this quality field wasn’t easy and will give him a lot of confidence," Hillier said.

Borgohain will next compete in 4X100m relay.

Earlier in the day, Tamilarasan Sathya finished seventh in the women’s pole vault with a 3.60m clearance. Sindhushree Ganesha, competing in the same event, failed to log a legal mark.

In the women’s 3000m steeplechase, Susmita Tigga finished 13th with a timing of 11:10.77 while compatriot Bhagyashree Navale didn’t finish the race. Ajay Kumar produced a personal best 65.99m in the men’s hammer throw and finished 11th while Vikrant Malik (71.15m) and Anuj Kalera (69.49m) entered the men’s javelin throw final.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Shantanu Srivastava is an experienced sports journalist who has worked across print and digital media. He covers cricket and Olympic sports.

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