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P.T. Usha elected India's first woman Olympic chief

India's first woman Olympic chief P.T. Usha, who successfully campaigned for the inclusion of women in the traditionally male-dominated sport of athletics, was elected Sunday unanimously as the new president of the Athletics Federation of India (AFI).


The 62-year-old has been a vocal campaigner for gender equality in athletics and has said it is her dream to see an Indian woman become a world champion in an Olympic event.


It is also essential that she be nominated so that we can get our message across to members here," she told reporters after being elected unopposed at the AFI General Body Meeting here. "It is good that we are finally able to make this point that we want more participation from women. We are no longer talking about participation, we are talking about performance. The next challenge is to see if we can get beyond expectations."As vice president, Usha had taken the lead to bring gender parity in Indian athletics and now as president, she said she wanted to continue from where she left off. "We have a good team of women officers and now I want them to lead," she said.


Usha's election was made possible after the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) amended its constitution last year to allow female leaders at the top of the world athletics administration.


 


The IAAF amended its constitution to allow female leaders at the top of the world athletics administration. The new section reads, "Qualifications for the office of the President shall be determined in accordance with Olympic Charter and shall be compatible with those required for the office of President."


The Athletics Federation of India helped lobby for gender parity and got Indian Sunderlal Bhagat, who currently serves as an honorary president, to nominate Usha.


"Her nomination was unanimous," said Bhagat. "I am happy that she has been nominated by all our members and it's because they know what she had done thus far.


In summary, it is vital to say that, P.T. Usha was elected unopposed as the new president of the Athletics Federation of India. 62-year-old has been a vocal campaigner for gender equality in athletics. IAAF amended its constitution to allow female leaders at the top of the world athletics administration.



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