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P T Usha
Pilavullakandi Thekkeparambil Usha, popularly known as P. T. Usha.
Payyoli Tevaraparampil Usha was born in a poor family in Meladi Payyoli village, near Calicut (Kozhikode), Kerala on June 27, 1964 Kerala. Usha had to face ill health and poverty as a young girl. The initials in Ushas name stand for Payyoli Tevaraparampil, her family names, according to the traditional naming system in South India. Usha began her international carrier at the Moscow Olympics in 1980 but she proved her real mettle in the 1982 Asian Games in New Delhi, winning the silver in the 100 m and 200 m event. The Jakarta Asian Meet in 1985 Usha elevated her to the position of the sprint queen as she won five gold medals (in the 100m, 200m, 400m, 400m hurdles and the 4x400m relay) and a bronze in the 100m relay.
Pilavullakandi Thekkeparambil Usha (born 27 June 1964), popularly known as P. T. Usha, is an Indian track and field athlete from the state of Kerala. P. T. Usha has been associated with Indian athletics since 1979. She is regarded as one of the greatest athletes India has ever produced and is often called the queen of Indian track and field. She is nicknamed the Payyoli Express. Currently she runs the Usha School of Athletics at Koyilandy in Kerala. P. T. Usha was born in the village of Payyoli, Kozhikode District, Kerala. In 1976 the Kerala State Government started a Sports School for women, and Usha was chosen to represent her district.
2. Achievements And Accolades
Through out her illustrious carrier, Usha won many national as well as international awards. P. T. Usha has won 33 international medals including 13 Gold medals in the Asian Games and Asian Championships. In all, Usha has won thirty International Awards, for her excellence in Athletics. P. T. Usha received the Arjuna Award in 1984. The next year she was adjudged the best women athlete the Jakarta Asian Athlete Meet. She was also awarded the Padma Shree in 1984. In the Seoul Asian games of 1986, Usha won the Adidas golden Shoe award for the best athlete. P. T. Usha was named the Sportsperson of the Century by the Indian Olympic Association.
3. Turning Point
As a child Usha showed an early aptitude for sports. This won her a scholarship of Rs. 250 from the Kerala government and led Usha to a special sports school at Cannore. In 1979 Usha participated in the National School Games. It was here that O. M. Nambiar (who coached her throughout most of her career) spotted her. He realized that this girl had a great potential. This proved the turning point of her illustrious carrier.
4. Ups And Downs
The illustrious carrier of P.T Usha speaks for itself. She has been the finest women athlete India has ever produced. Throughout her carrier Usha never looked back. In fact, at one point of time she returned back to track after a gap of 4 years and won a silver medal at the Hiroshima Asiad! But the greatest disappointment came at the Los Angeles Olympics, where Usha missed the bronze medal by just 1 100th of a second. This was a heart break for the whole country.
I had so much of talent but I lacked the right exposure at the right time. If I had participated in meets abroad regularly, I could have performed so much better.
Was named Usha by her maternal grandfather.
First Keralite and first Indian woman to reach the final of an Olympic event.
Youngest Indian sprinter to compete in the quadrennial sporting extravaganza in Moscow Olympics at the age 16.
Her effort of 55.54 seconds in LosAngeles was a record since this was the first time, 400m hurdles was conducted in the womens section.
1In 982 Delhi Asiad won the first medal of the games.
Has participated in Olympic games from 1980 1996 except on 1992, Barcelona Olympics.
A road at Payyoli, her home town, is named after her The Kerala Government has also set up a PT Usha Sports Council at Central Stadium, Thiruvananthapuram.
At the age of 34 she set a new national record for the 200m, after the birth of her son.
In 1979 P. T. Usha participated in the National School Games, where she was noticed by O. M. Nambiar, who coached her throughout her career. Her debut in the 1980 Moscow Olympics proved lacklustre. In the 1982 New Delhi Asiad, she got the silver medal in the 100m and the 200m, but at the Asian Track and Field Championship in Kuwait a year later, Usha took the gold in the 400m with a new Asian record . From 198389, Usha garnered 13 golds at ATF meets.At the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, she finished first in the semi finals of the 400 metres hurdles, but narrowly missed a medal in the finals, reminiscent of Milkha Singhs 1960 defeat. There was a nail biting photo finish for the third place. Usha lost the bronze by 1 100th of a second.
In the 10th Asian Games held at Seoul in 1986, P. T. Usha won 4 gold medals and 1 silver medal in the track and field events. She also won five gold medals at the 6th Asian Track and Field Championship in Jakarta in 1985. Her medals at the same meet is a record for a single athlete in a single international meet.Usha has won 101 international medals so far. She is employed as an officer in the Southern Railways. In 1985, she was conferred the Padma Shri and the Arjuna Award.Currently she coaches young athletes at her training academy in Kerala, including Tintu Luka, who was qualified for the womens semi final 800m at the London 2012 Olympics.
8. Awards and honours
Recipient of the Arjuna Award, 1984
Padma Shri, 1984
Greatest woman athlete, 1985 Jakarta Asian Athletic Meet
Best Athlete in Asia Award, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987 and 1989
World Trophy for best Athlete, 1985, 1986
Adidas Golden Shoe award for the best athlete, 1986 Seoul Asian Games
Kerala Sports Journalists Award, 1999
Thirty international awards for her excellence in athletics.
To commemorate her excellent services to the nation through her consistent and determined efforts towards the sport of Athletics, P.T. Usha was honored with the Arjuna Award in the year 1983 and Padma Shri award in the year 1985. Apart from it, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) named her the Sportsperson of the Century and the Sports Woman of the Millennium. Also, she was named the Greatest Woman Athlete at Jakarta Asian Athletic Meet 1985 and given the World Trophy for Best Athlete in the years 1985 and 1986.
9. Early Life
She was born on the 27th of June 1964 at Payyoli, a village located in District Payyoli of Kerala to E.P.M. Paithal and T.V. Lakshmi. Usha was affected by ill health in her early childhood days, but displayed the signs of a great Athlete right in her primary school days.
10. Beginning of Athletic Career
The Kerala State Government began a Sports Division for Women at Kannur in the year 1976, and 12 year old P.T. Usha was one among the 40 girls who began their training under O.M. Nambiar, the Coach at the division. She first came into limelight in the year 1979 when at National School Games, she won the individual championship.
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