Jyothi Yarraji became the first Indian to go under 13 seconds in the women’s 100m hurdles by breezing past the finish line in 12.82 seconds at the 61st National Open athletics championships at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium here on Monday.
The 23-year-old had clocked 12.79 at the recently held National Games in Gujarat, but it wasn’t considered a National record because it came with a +2.5 m/s tailwind assistance. Anything over 2 m/s doesn’t count for a record.
The Open being her last event of the season, she seemed determined to go out on a high by adding the gold to the Inter-University, Federation Cup and National Games titles she had already won.
She clocked 13.17s in the heats to erase Anuradha Biswal’s previous meet record of 13.38 set way back in 2002.
However, the skies opened up barely an hour before the final, making the conditions damp and delaying the much-awaited dash by 20 minutes.
But Yarraji seemed unperturbed, as she took the lead around the 40m mark and ended up shaving over two-tenths of a second from her previous National record of 13.04s. Yarraji now holds the four best times by an Indian woman.
“It’s a relief to get it (dip under 13 seconds),” said James Hillier, Jyothi’s coach at the Odisha Reliance Foundation High Performance Centre. “The conditions were not the best, which made the performance even better. It’s the coming of age season for her.”
Jyothi Yarrai progression in the 100m hurdles
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