P T Usha
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.