GANDHINAGAR: Andhra Pradesh's Jyothi Yarraji has been on a record-breaking spree of late. She had re-written the 100m hurdle national record thrice in a span of 16 days in May this year. She added yet another feather to her cap on Saturday on the IIT Gandhinagar athletics track but not in her pet event. This time she clocked her fastest time in the 100m to win the gold at the National Games. What makes the achievement even more special was the way she stunned sprinters like Dutee Chand and Hima Das to finish on top of the podium.
The lanky hurdler clocked 11.51 seconds to emerge the fastest woman but the 23-year-old athlete said she was very relaxed ahead of the race. "I didn't come here thinking of winning or losing. I was just focusing on the timing and never thought of beating anyone. However, now I have a responsibility on my shoulders," Jyothi said after the win.
In fact, she thanked the duo of Dutee and Hima for encouraging her to do better. "They are very supportive and always encouraged me to do well despite being competitors. I never think on that line (of beating someone) and I am happy that my timing was good."
Meanwhile, Assam's Amlan Borgohain won the blue riband event in the men's category by clocking 10.38 seconds. Borgohain had registered a timing of 10.28s in the semifinals and though he could not improve on that performance, he was more than happy. “You know, it’s like a stage show, sometimes you perform, sometimes you don’t,” the 23-year-old athlete said with a wide grin after clinching the gold.
Asked about the weather and how it affects his performance, Borgohain said he never thinks too much about the conditions or anything and always tries to focus on running. “In those few seconds, there is no time to think. You simply focus on executing your game plan,” he said. He said that the only thing he concentrated on during the distance was his posture.
It was quite hot as well but he said it never entered his mind even once. “I don’t think about it much. It is the same for everyone, isn’t it? In the All-India Railway competition, I ran at 2 PM in similar weather conditions and clocked 10.25 seconds. So, I am experienced in this kind of weather.”
He also hoped that the performance will inspire youngsters to take up athletics in the North East part of the country. “We have many footballers, weightlifters and boxers and now we are not so bad in athletics either,” he said.
He also highlighted the sacrifices his family had made to help him make a career in athletics and said he was happy he could deliver. “You see this,” he said, pointing to his arm on which he had tattooed ‘maa’. “I was in Odisha and was thinking of my mother and simply went and got this inscribed,” he revealed, confirming that he didn’t tell his mom before getting it done.
However, when asked about his target as far as timing is concerned, he said he doesn't believe in setting a goal. “I don’t put limits on myself. I just work hard and wherever God takes me, I go. If it comes, it comes. Otherwise, it doesn’t matter,” he signed off.