Meet Jyothi Yarraji - India's multiple record-breaking 100m hurdler

Jyothi Yarraji celebrates her national record-breaking time at the Harry Schulting Games James Hillier

Three races in Europe, three national records - 100m hurdler Jyothi Yarraji has been on a record-breaking spree of late. The 22-year-old clocked 13.04s to re-write the national record for the third time in 16 days during the Harry Schulting Games in the Netherlands on Thursday.

With her most recent effort, Jyothi shaved off nearly a second off her gold-medal-winning time of 13.98s at the All India Inter-University Athletics meet in February.

Jyothi is no stranger to breaking the national record. In fact, she had broken Anuradha Biswal's record of 13.38s, set 20 years ago, twice earlier but her timings did not stand on either occasion.

Who is Jyothi Yarraji?

India's fastest hurdler, Jyothi comes from a humble background. Her father works as a security guard while her mother is employed as a part-time cleaner in a hospital in Visakhapatnam.

Currently pursuing a BA degree at the Acharya Nagarjuna University in Guntur, Jyothi broke into the scene when she won the Inter-state Athletics Championships in 2019 in her first senior national competition.

She joined the centre of excellence of the Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh in 2015 before moving to Bhubaneswar, where she trains with James Hillier at Reliance Foundation Odisha Athletics High-Performance Centre.

Why was she denied the national record earlier?

Jyothi first set a national record at the 2020 All India Inter-University Athletics meet, held in Moodabidri, Karnataka when she ran a blistering 13.03s. It remains her fastest time to date but was not ratified for two reasons.

One - there were no representatives from the National Anti-Doping Agency and she was not tested after the race.

Two - there wasn't a technical delegate from the Athletics Federation of India. These two criteria have to be met to ratify a national record.

She then registered a 13.09s run at the Federation Cup in Kozhikode but as fate would have it she was yet again denied the record because it was a wind-assisted run. The readings showed the wind speed was +2.1m/s - a fraction over the acceptable limit of +2m/s.

Jyothi was distraught after the race and wept at being denied the national record once again.

What has she done now?

Those two instances have powered Jyothi into the form of her life.

She was finally awarded the national record earlier this month when she won the Cyprus International Athletics event with a 13.23-second run on May 11. She followed that up with an even-better time of 13.11s at Loughborough International Athletics Meet on May 22.

Her best run came on Thursday when she clocked 13.04s - 0.01s shy of her personal best - at the Harry Schulting Games. Jyothi set the national record in the heats and did not run in the final.

What's next for Jyothi?

The record could once more be bettered as Jyothi is immediately in action on Saturday, where she is competing in the World Athletics Continental Tour event in Oordegem, Belgium.

Jyothi has qualified for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, to begin in Birmingham on July 22, comfortably by beating the qualifying standard of 13.11s. However, she is yet to make the cut for the World Athletics Championships to be held in Oregon from July 15, which is set at 12.84s.