P T Usha
India : Flying Queen
Pilavulakandi Thekkeparambil Usha has emerged as the most outstanding Indian woman athlete of the 1980s. In the recent years she has brought much glory and honour to her country in the field of sports, and in fame she has outdone many other Indian women athletes till date. Usha, in fact, at present is the best runner of Aisa. In the 10th Asiad held at Seoul in 1986, P.T. Usha kept the flag of India flying high by winning 4 gold and 1 silver medals in the track and field events. Her performance at the Seoul Asiad becomes all the more commendable for the reason that out of a total of 5 gold medals won by India, Usha’s share is of 4. Usha’s was the greatest medal tally of a single athlete in the track and field events n 1986 Asiad. Usha’s success story begins from the 1982 Asiad in which she won two gold medals, in 100 metres and 200 metres respectively and since then, Usha has run from one success to another. At the National level athletic meets she has repeatedly given her best performances. At the Los Angles Olympics held in 1984, Usha slightly missed a medal and she had to remain content with 4th place only. Yet, she was the first Indian woman runner to have the honour of coming at the 4th place in the history of Olympics.
P.T. Usha was born in Kerala in 1964. When she was just 12, she joined a sports school at Cannanore where she received guidance and training from O.P. Nambiar, who is still her coach. It is due to the help, guidance and encouragment from her coach O.P. Nambiar, that Usha could become what she is today. At present P.T. Usha is employed as an officer in the Southern Railway. Despite being busy, Usha has made a place in sports which is second to none by dint of her strong will. power and hard work. Country has high expectations from her in future.
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P.T. Usha Biography
In 1976 the Kerala Government started a Sports division for women in Kannur, where Usha started practicing under coach O.M Nambiar. Her march to fame started in 1979, when she won the individual championship at the National School Games. In 1980, in her first international meet, she won 4 gold medals for India. Her biggest moment came when in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics she missed the bronze medal in the 400m finals by 1/100th of a second.
In 1985 she won 5 gold medals and 1 bronze medal at the Asian track and field championship in Jakarta, Indonesia. At the Seoul Asian Games, Usha won gold medals in the 200 m, 400 m, 400 m hurdles and 4x400m relay categories. At the Beijing Asian Games, she won 3 silver medals for India. In 1991, she married V. Srinivasan. After the birth of her son, she came back to athletics and won bronze medals in the 200 m and 400 m at the Asian Track Federation meet at Fukuoka in Japan in 1998. She retired from athletics in the year 2000 and set up her sports academy in Kerala.
She was awarded the Arjuna Award in 1983 and the Padma Shree in 1985.
Last Updated on : February 3, 2014