The Inspiring Athlete
P T Usha
It is no exaggeration to state that in the Indian athletics history, no other athlete has become as popular as P.T. Usha. She sort of became a house hold name in India during 1985 and 1986. She is the first Indian woman to reach the final of Olympics. It is in 1986 in the 10th Asian games held at Seoul that Usha kept the Indian flag high and aloft by winning 4 gold medals and 1 silver medal in the track and filed meet. She created new records in all the events she participated. This is no small achievement for a girl hailing from a small town in Kerala.
She won the most medals 6 at Jakarta in 1985 at a single championship event. She won 5 gold at the 6th Asian Track and field championships and created a record for winning the most number of gold medals in one international meet by a single athlete. Her success story began with two gold medals in 100 and 200 meters sprint events in the 1982 Asiad. In the 1984 Los Angels Olympics, Usha remains in history to have missed the bronze medal by 1 100 of a second and to remain content with 4th place. During the period between 1993 and 1989, she won 13 gold medals, 3 silver medals and 1 bronze medal in four Asian Track and field Championship events. Usha has 101 international medals to her famous athletic career.
Usha was born in a cloth merchants family in Calicut in Kerala on 20 May, 1964. Athletics always interested her and during her school days she followed it and won 4 gold medals at the National School Meet in 1977 78. At the National Amateur Meet held at Quilon, she won 4 gold, one silver and one bronze medal. She set a new record in three events in the National School Games at Nagpur in the year 1979. When she moved to Mercy College in Palghat and Providence College in Calicut, she met a coach by name O.M.Nambiar, who is instrumental in shaping her athletic career and help her become a super athlete.