Hangzhou, Oct 3 (IANS): Vithya Ramraj had raised hopes of breaking the 49-year-old National Record in the women's 400m hurdles after she equalled the mark set by PT Usha in the 1986 Asian Games in Seoul during heats at the Hangzhou Olympics Sports Complex here.
However, on Tuesday she fell short in her bid to improve on the mark of 55.42 as she clocked 55.68 in the Women's 400m hurdles final at the Asian Games here, winning a bronze medal.
In a race run on a wet track and with a slight drizzle adding to the challenge, Vithya made a good start but fell behind Bahrain's Oluwakemi Mujidat Adekoya, the 2014 Incheon Asian Games gold medallist who had finished fourth in the recent World Championships in Budapest. The Bahrain runner took the gold medal in an Asian Games record time of 54.45 seconds. China's Mo Jiadie took the silver medal in 55.01 seconds, her season's best effort.
Vithya said she was impacted a bit by the wet conditions underfoot though she said that was not the sole reason for her failing to break the national record.
"I have raced in wet conditions earlier also, at Bangalore so that is not the reason," she said after the race.
"I feel happy because I got a medal, but the performance could have been better, so there is some disappointment over the timing. But I'm so, so happy," said Vithya.
The 25-year-old said the conditions did hamper them. "It rained, so when I started the warm-up, I felt very cold, and I had to wear everything to keep warm. But we can't make excuses, we're sportspersons, we should be used to different conditions.
"In Trivandrum, we practice in different climates. I was a bit slow on the first two hurdles. Normally, after the first two hurdles, I got more confident. But today, the first two hurdles I missed, I don't know, maybe I was 'nervous'. This was my first international," she said.