Many of you already heard of the success story of PT Usha known as “Queen of Indian track and field.
However, her road to fame was never easy. Let us read a success story of PT Usha, a Golden girl of Indian Athletics. We hope you are going to enjoy the success story.
PT Usha full name Pilavullakandi Thekkeparambil Usha is a retired Indian track and field athlete. Here are some facts about the P. T Usha. She is She was born to a poor family on 27th June 1964 in a village named Payyoli, near Calicut, Kerala.
Since 1979, she has been associated with Indian athletics. She is also known as “Queen of Indian track and field” and Payyoli Express.
Personal Life of PT Usha:
In 1991, she married to V. Srinivasan. He was an inspector with Central Industrial Security Force. They have a son.
Amazing journey of Golden Girl PT Usha:
O. M. Nambiar, an athletic coach, first noticed her in 1976 at a sports price distribution ceremony. I knew she could become good sprinter”.
The same year, he started coaching her. As quick results, she won five medals at the inter-state meet for juniors in Kollam in 1978.
At that time she won 4-gold medals in 200 m, 100 m, 60 m hurdles and high jump & silver in long jump and bronze in 4 x 100 m relay.
She won 14 medals in that year’s Kerala state college meet. She won multiple medals at the 1979 National games and 1980 National inter-state meet setting many meet records.
In 1981, at the senior inter-state meet in Bangalore, she clocked 11.8 seconds in the 100 m and 24.6 seconds in 200 m setting National records in both.
At New Delhi Asian Games in 1982, she won silver medals in 100 m & 200 m clocking 11.95 seconds & 25.32 seconds.
In Jamshedpur, she broke the 200 m national record again clocking 23.9 seconds & with 53.6 seconds set a new National record in 400 m at 1983 Open National Championships. The same year at Asian Championships in Kuwait City she won gold in 4oo m.
1984 Los Angeles Olympics
Her best movement came at 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. However, her performances were very poor in 100 m & 200 m at Moscow World Championships, it prompted her to concentrate on the 400 m hurdles.
She beat Asian Champion M. D. Valsamma to qualify for games at Olympics trials in Delhi. She clocked 55.7 seconds beating American top sprinter Judi Brown at another pre-Olympic trial.
At the games, she clocked 56.81 seconds in the heats and 55.54 seconds in the semi-final by setting new commonwealth records & entered the final.
At the final, she came at the fourth rank with 5.42 seconds. She was just behind the bronze model by 1/100th of a second.
That happened because one of her competitor s had a false start & that is why she broke her rhythm & got off the blocks at the restart.
Usha won six medals at 1985 Jakarta Asian Championships. She won five gold and one bronze.
She won gold in 100 m in 11.64 seconds, 200 m in 23.05 seconds, 400 m in 52.62 seconds, 400 m hurdle in 56.64 seconds & fifth one was 4 x 400 m relay And bronze in 4 x 100 m.
She set a record for achieving most Gold medals in a single event in the history of the Championships.
She won the 100 m silver with 11.67 seconds; Lydia da Vega achieved the gold. She set new game records for 200m in 23.44 seconds, 400 m in 52.16 seconds & 4 x 400 m relay in 3:34.58.
Jim Alford, British athletics coach said, “Usha is a tough competitor, a first-class athlete, and a terrific runner to watch. She has all the potential. Given careful guidance, she can be world-class”.
PT Usha said in an interview that I never wanted to be an Olympian. I never competed to defeat anybody and wanted was to keep breaking my own sports record.
Usha garnered 13 gold from 1983-89 at ATF meets. She won 4-gold & 1-silver medal in the track and field events in the 10th Asian Games at Seoul in 1986.
At the 6th Asian Track and Field Championship in Jakarta in 1985, she won 5-gold medals. Her medals at the same meet are a record for a single athlete in a single international meet.
Currently, PT Usha is committee head of Indian Talent Organization, platform that helps students & their talents.
It conducts the National Level Indian Talent Olympiad examinations in school all over in India.
Achievements of PT Usha:
She represented India in 4 x 100 meters relay together with Tanay Manya, E. B. Shyla & Saraswati Saha at Asian Championship in Athletics 1998. They won the gold medal by setting the current National record of 44.43 seconds.
Awards and Honours of P. T Usha:
Arjuna Award honoured her in 1983. In 1985, she was honoured by Padma Shree. Currently, PT Usha runs an athletics school at Koyilandi, Kerala, where girls in the age group of 10-12 are trained.
Among them was Tintu Lukka, who had qualified for the women’s semi-final 800m event in Olympics at the London 2012.
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