PT Usha is one of the greatest sprinters to have come out of India, often called the "queen of track and field". (Image credit: PT Usha Twitter)
Indian track and field legend P T Usha was on Wednesday presented the Veteran Pin by the world athletics governing body, in recognition of her contribution to the growth of sport. IAAF chief Sebastian Coe presented her the Veteran Pin during the 52nd IAAF Congress here. She was one of three persons from Asia to receive the honour. "Expressing my deep gratitude towards @iaaforg and President @sebcoe for awarding me the Veteran Pin at the 52nd IAAF conference in Doha. I look forward to continually contributing to the growth of athletics in our country!," tweeted the 55-year-old who is known as 'Payyoli Express'.
Usha is one of the greatest sprinters to have come out of India, often called the "queen of track and field". She won five gold medals -- 100m, 200m, 400m, 400m hurdles and the 4x400m relay -- besides a bronze at the 1986 Asian Games in Seoul. Her most memorable performance came in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics where she became the first Indian to reach the finals of the 400m hurdles, but lost the bronze by one-hundredth of a second.
Britain's Sebastian Coe was re-elected unopposed as president of the IAAF for a second term. Coe, 62, the former Olympic and world champion middle-distance runner, was named head of the governing body of world athletics in 2015 and receives his second mandate just two days before the World Athletics Championships opens in Doha on Friday. Coe, who took over the reins during a period of turmoil in world athletics, was re-elected by unanimous vote of the 203 delegates attending the International Association of Athletics Federations' Congress in Doha.
Expressing my deep gratitude towards @iaaforg and President @sebcoe for awarding me the Veteran Pin at the 52nd IAAF conference in Doha. I look forward to continually contributing to the growth of athletics in our country!@IAAFDoha2019 #IAAFDoha2019 pic.twitter.com/pKUcly1EsV— P.T. USHA (@PTUshaOfficial) September 25, 2019
Four years ago the IAAF was in chaos as a result of far reaching corruption allegations including damaging charges of links between outgoing president Lamine Diack, his influential son Papa Massata Diack, and a Russian cover-up of a state-sponsored doping conspiracy. During his first term, Coe set up the independent Athletics Integrity Unit which serves as anti-doping watchdog dedicated to cleaning up corruption in the sport. Coe is notably credited with tackling the issue of state-sponsored Russian doping, with the IAAF maintaining a tough stance and banning Russia from competing since November 2015.