Jyothi Yarraji secures a bronze medal in the 100 meters hurdles at the World University Games

Jyothi Yarraji narrowly fell short of achieving the qualification mark for the Paris Olympics by a mere 0.01 seconds

(Sports News) Jyothi Yarraji, indisputably India’s finest 100m hurdler, has achieved yet another significant feat on her journey to securing a bronze medal at the World University Games in Chengdu, China. This achievement marks the nation’s inaugural medal in the 100m hurdles discipline at the University Games.

Jyothi, a remarkable athlete who stands as the sole woman in the country to complete the 100m hurdles in less than 13 seconds, elevated the national record to a new level for the ninth time. Her exceptional performance showcased a stunning timing of 12.78 seconds, a mere 0.01 seconds shy of the qualifying mark for the Paris Olympics. Slovakia’s Viktoria Forster clinched the gold with a time of 12.72 seconds, while China’s Yanni Wu secured silver, registering a time of 12.76 seconds.

The final contest witnessed an exceptionally high standard of competition, with all three medalists setting new personal bests. Jyothi’s previous best of 12.82 seconds was recorded at the National Open Athletics Championships in Bengaluru during 2022.

Jyothi’s form this season has been truly exceptional, as she has consistently achieved races under 13 seconds on seven separate occasions, including her recent victory at the Asian Championships where she secured the gold medal.

Following her success at the Asian Championships, the athlete from Andhra Pradesh expressed her determination to further improve, indicating her intention to aim for timings in the sub-12.70s range.

Sprinter Amalan Borgohain, who had been encountering challenges lately, also delivered an impressive performance in Chengdu by clocking 20.55 seconds to earn the bronze medal in the 200m event. His achievement in securing the bronze was merely 0.03 seconds away from his national record set during the Federation Games last year.

Both Amalan and Jyothi are coached by James Hillier, the athletics director at Reliance Foundation, and their coach expressed a great sense of satisfaction after the results of Friday’s events.

“This is yet another remarkable accomplishment for Jyothi, remarkably achieved with a personal best. What amplifies the significance of this achievement is that it transpired during the final of a global championship. She displayed impressive composure and a highly professional approach, conserving her energy adeptly during the qualifying rounds to ensure her peak performance in the final. This achievement truly stands as an exceptional feat and marks another significant stride toward the World Championships and the Asian Games,” commented James on Thursday.

In October of the previous year, she carved her name in history by becoming the first woman in the country to complete the 100m hurdles in under 13 seconds – an achievement that was once deemed nearly unattainable.

Jyothi has elevated her standards to such a level that a sub-13-second performance is now almost anticipated every time she takes the field to compete in the hurdles. However, the weight of this expectation no longer affects her.

“At the back of my mind, I am confident that I will achieve a sub-13-second timing, but my primary focus during races is to navigate the hurdles flawlessly. My objective revolves around maintaining consistent performances; I am aware that record-breaking performances cannot be attained on every occasion,” Jyothi shared with The Indian Express during the Inter State meet this year.

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