Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Usha set to get elected as IOA chief; Ajay Patel set to become senior VP

The legendary PT Usha is set to become the first woman president of Indian Olympic Association (IOA) as she emerged as the lone candidate for the top post for the December 10 elections.
The 58-year-old Usha, a multiple Asian Games gold medallists and a fourth-place finisher in the 1984 Olympics 400m hurdles final, filed her nomination papers for the top job on Sunday along with her team for the various posts.
The deadline to file nomination papers for the IOA elections ended on Sunday. IOA elections returning officer Umesh Sinha did not receive any nominations on Friday and Saturday but 24 candidates filed nominations for various posts on Sunday.
Usha, a top sprinter in her heyday, has also been elected as one of the eight Sportspersons of Outstanding Merit (SOM) by the Athletes Commission of the IOA, making her an electoral college member.
She will also become the first Olympian and first international medallist to head the IOA in its 95-year-old history, adding another feather in her cap after dominating Indian and Asian athletics for two decades before retiring in 2000 with a bagful of international medals.
Usha is the first sportsperson to have represented the country and also become IOA chief since Maharaja Yadavindra Singh, who played a Test match in 1934. Singh was the third IOA president who held office from 1938 to 1960.
There will be contests for one post of vice president (female), joint secretary (female). There were 12 candidates in the fray for four executive council members.
The IOA polls will be held to elect one president, one senior vice-president, two vice-presidents (one male and one female), one treasurer, two joint secretaries (one male and one female), six other Executive Council members, out of which two (one male and one female) shall be from the elected SOMs.
Two members of the Executive Council (one male and one female) will be the Athletes’ Commission representatives.
Ajay Patel of National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) is set to be the senior vice-president as he is also the lone candidate for the post.
Olympic medallist shooter Gagan Narang is also the only candidate for the post of one male vice president. Two candidates — Rajlaxmi Singh Deo, Alaknanda Ashok — have, however, filed nominations for the lone post of woman vice-president.
Indian Weightlifting Federation president Sahdev Yadav will be elected unopposed as the treasurer.
All India Football Federation president Kalyan Chaubey will be the male joint secretary while there were three candidates — Alaknanda Ashok, Shalini Thakur Chawla and Suman Kaushik — for the lone female joint secretary’s post.
Olympic medallist wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt and archer Dola Banerjee will be the male and female representative of the eight SOMs in the executive council.

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