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Never thought I would be IOA chief: PT Usha after unopposed election to top post

New Delhi: Legendary athlete PT Usha said on Saturday that she never thought that she would be the president of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and that she wants the new executive council to be a "model team."
India's legendary athlete PT Usha was on Saturday elected unopposed as the first woman president of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). "Thanks everyone, this new team should be a model team. I am very happy that all the sportspersons are in the executive committee. I lived 13 years of my life without sports. After that, I was into sports as a player, coach and administrator. But I never thought I would be the IOA chief. This is all because of my sport," said Usha in a press conference.
She extended her thanks to the Sportspersons of Merit of the new Athletes Commission of IOA for supporting her and pushing her to file the nomination for the top post in the body.

"Me and my team will do our best for the betterment of our sports, to keep our tricolour flying high in the international arena. We would like to also know the opinions of associations, athletes and coaches," said Usha.
The legendary athlete said she wants to make IOA an accessible body for associations and athletes, who can share their issues with the top sports body, which will work hard for its rectification.
The 58-year-old is also the first Olympian and the first international medallist to hold the top post in 95-year-old history of IOA.
PT Usha's election brings an end to a long-drawn crisis in the faction-ridden IOA which was warned of a possible suspension by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) if elections were not held this month.
Ajay Patel of the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) was unanimously elected senior vice-president. Olympic medallist shooter Gagan Narang and Rowing Federation of India President Rajlaxmi Singh Deo were elected as vice presidents.
Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWF) president Sahdev Yadav was elected treasurer. All India Football Federation (AIFF) president and former goalkeeper Kalyan Chaubey was elected unopposed as the joint secretary (male).

Alaknanda Ashok of the Badminton Association of India (BAI) was elected as joint secretary (female) leaving behind other candidates Shalini Thakur Chawla and Suman Kaushik.
Olympic medallist wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt and archer Dola Banerjee are in the executive council as male and female representatives of the eight Sportspersons of Outstanding Merit (SOM).
Legendary boxer MC Mary Kom and veteran table tennis player Achanta Sharath Kamal are also part of the executive council by virtue of being president and vice president of the Athletes Commission.
Bhupender Singh Bajwa, Amitabh Sharma, Harpal Singh and Rohit Rajpal were also elected to the executive council. (ANI)

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