Speaking to ANI, Yarraji shared her experience, acknowledging that it had been a challenging ordeal.However, she expressed her ultimate satisfaction with winning the silver medal, marking her debut appearance at the Asian Games.
“It was a horrible experience, I just want to say that cheating should never be appreciated in any sport. After a lot of drama, I finally won the silver medal, and I am happy since this was my first Asian Games,” Yarraji told ANI.Providing insights into the situation, Yarraji revealed that she had been focused on achieving her best race time when officials issued a false starting warning. In response, her team filed a protest, leading to her eventual awarding of the silver medal.
Yarraji also expressed empathy for the Chinese hurdler, recognizing her strong performance leading up to the race.
“Actually, before the start of the race, I tried to focus on doing the best timing and suddenly they gave me the false starting warning. I was shocked, and after the race, we protested. I felt bad for the Chinese athlete since even though she performed well to reach here, however, we have to accept what it is. Now I will give myself rest for one week then will start preparation for the upcoming Paris Olympics,” Yarraji added.
Initially, the 24-year-old Indian hurdler was awarded the bronze medal. However, China’s Wu Yanni faced disqualification after the race, resulting in Yarraji’s silver medal upgrade.
Yarraji clocked a time of 12.91s in the women’s 100m Hurdles final, securing the silver medal. China’s Yuwei Lin clinched the gold with a time of 12.74s, while Japan’s Yumi Tanaka took the bronze.
The controversy emerged when Wu Yanni, who initially finished second, was disqualified due to a false start. Race officials initially considered disqualifying both the Indian and Chinese athletes, a decision strongly opposed by Yarraji and the Indian contingent.
After extensive discussions and a race under review, both athletes were allowed to compete. Subsequently, Yarraji’s silver medal was confirmed after Wu’s disqualification for false starts, aligning with TR16.8 regulations.
(With ANI inputs)
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