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P.T.Usha

pt usha,about pt usha,pt usha profile,information about pt usha

 

P.T. Usha is one of India's best-known athletes, the queen of Indian track and field for two decades, the woman who was nicknamed 'Payyoli Express' because of her speed on the race-track.
Payyoli Tevaraparampil Usha was born in a poor family in the village Meladi-Payyoli near Calicut, Kerala. As a young girl Usha had to face ill health and poverty. What Usha had, even as a child, was an aptitude for sports which came in handy and won her a scholarship worth Rs. 250 per month from the Kerala government, which entitled her to study at a special sports school in Cannore.
That Rs 250 went a long way in the making of Usha's career. It was at the sports school that she was noticed by O M Nambiar, who took her under his wing and became her coach for years to come.

Fundu Fact
It was her maternal grandfather who named her 'Usha' after a character in a poem that he was reading when Usha was born.
Usha made her international debut at the Moscow Olympics in 1980 but she shone into the limelight in the 1982 Asian Games in New Delhi, winning the silver in the 100 m and 200 m event.
At the Asian Meet in Jakarta in 1985 Usha established herself as the Asian sprint queen with five gold medals (in the 100meters, 200m, 400m, 400m hurdles and the 4x400m relay) besides a bronze in the 100mrelay. This magnificent performance was followed by an equally brilliant spell an year later at the Asian Games at Seoul where Usha notched up four golds and a silver medal.
 
Usha with some of her awards

The finest moment in Usha's career and also perhaps the saddest however came in a single race at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. In the 400m hurdles Usha missed winning the bronze by just 1/100th of a second. She recorded her best time of 55.42secs in that race -- still an Indian national record -- but lost the medal in a photo-finish. Usha said that she cried after the event because "It was difficult to believe that I had missed an Olympic medal by a whisker."
 

Did you know?
In Cochin there is a road named after P. T Usha.
In the next few years age started taking a toll on Usha and in 1990 she decided to retire after managing only a silver at the Asian Games in Beijing.

In 1991 Usha married V Srinivasan, a sub-inspector in the Central Industrial Security Forces.The next year son Ujjwal was born and Usha found herself enjoying motherhood.

However, she was soon back on the tracks. Her old interest revived, Usha decided to give athletics one more go and four years after her retirement the 'Payyoli Express' returned at the Hiroshima Asiad at the age of 33 and won a silver in the 400m relay.
Her last international appearance was at the Asian Meet in Fukuoka, Japan in 1998. She managed to shock some of the younger participants by winning a gold in the 4x100m relay, silver in the 400m relay and a bronze each in the 200m and 400m.
Fundu Fact
Interestingly at the Fukuoka meet one of the participants in the sprint event was born a year after P T Usha had started her athletic career way back in 1980!
Usha hung up her boots for good at the age of 36 in July 2000 with a promise to groom bright young athletes in her upcoming sports academy in Kerala.
P.T. Usha was honoured with the Arjuna Award in 1983, and the Padmashree in 1985. She was named 'Sportsperson of the Century' by the Indian Olympic Association, and till date is the Indian with most international track and field medals. Usha & her coach O M Nambiar
 

 
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