New Delhi, February 4, 2024 – Legendary sprinter, P.T. Usha, on Sunday was conferred with the ‘Lifetime Achievement’ award with a Gold Medal by Sports Journalists’ Federation of India (SJFI) at the National Sports Club of India here.
To honour her stellar sporting career, Ms Usha was presented with a Gold Medal, a citation and a memento on the occasion. The ceremony was graced by Guests of Honour Mr. Rajeev Shukla, Member of Parliament – Rajya Sabha and Vice President, BCCI, and former Indian shooter Mr. Jaspal Rana.
Ms Usha is the fifth recipient of the SJFI Gold Medal after tennis ace Vijay Amritraj, badminton icon Prakash Padukone, legendary cricketer Sunil Gavaskar and former sprinter Late Milkha Singh.
Throughout her memorable career spanning between 1977 and 2000, Usha won 103 international medals for the country. She also claimed four Gold Medals and seven Silver medals in Asian Games, and competed across three editions of the Olympics.
Usha, who is the President of the Indian Olympic Association, said, “I am grateful that my career achievement is being remembered till today. During my time, we did not have all the facilities that are available today – overseas training, nutrition, sports psychologists, sports science, among others. Now that I am working at IOA, our effort is to focus on the Paris Olympics. After that we will shift our attention to fulfilling Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to make India a sporting power by 2036.”
Mr. Shukla said, “PT Usha deserves the honour. She is an icon and a guiding spirit for the sportspersons in the country. Now she has been given a difficult task of administering the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and we are confident that she will be able to navigate through these waters effectively.”
Former India star shooter, Mr. Jaspal Rana, observed: “Sportspersons feel happy when they are awarded. But to present an award of this stature to an athlete you have always looked up to, is a different honour. I am grateful to be given this opportunity today. PT Usha has been an idol to many sportspersons across the world. I am proud that someone as strong as her will now be the head of IOA and with her guidance and support, we will crack many battles.”
SJFI affiliate, Delhi Sports Journalists’ Association (DSJA), co-hosted the programme. Among many sports enthusiasts present were Hony. Secretary, SJFI, Prashant Keni and Treasurer, Partha Chakraborty.
Abhishek Tripathi, President, Executive Committee DSJA, proposed the vote of thanks.