P. T. Usha
|Birth name||Pilavullakandi Thekkeraparambil Usha|
|Nickname(s)||Golden Girl, Payyoli Express|
|Born||27 June 1964|
Kuttali, Kozhikode, Kerala, India
|Height||171 cm (5 ft 7 in)|
|Sport||Track and field|
|Achievements and titles|
|Personal best(s)||100 m: 11.39 (Jakarta 1985)|
200 m: 23.05 (Lucknow 1999)
400 m: 51.61 (Canberra 1985)
400 m hurdles: 55.42 NR
(Los Angeles 1984)
Pilavullakandi Thekkeparambil Usha (born 27 June 1964) is a retired Indian track and field athlete. She has been associated with Indian athletics since 1979. She is often called the "queen of Indian track and field".
Usha was first noticed in 1976 by O. M. Nambiar, an athletics coach, at a sports prize-distribution ceremony. In an interview with Rediff.com in 2000, he said, "What impressed me at first sight about Usha was her lean shape and fast walking style. I knew she could become a very good sprinter." The same year, he began coaching her. Quick results followed when she won five medals at the inter-state meet for juniors, in Kollam in 1978, with four gold medals in 100 m, 200 m, 60 m hurdles and high jump, silver in long jump and bronze in 4 x 100 m relay. In the year's Kerala State college meet, she won 14 medals. She went on to win multiple medals at the 1979 National Games and 1980 National inter-state meet setting many meet records.
At the senior inter-state meet in Bangalore in 1981, Usha clocked 11.8 seconds in the 100 m and 24.6 seconds in the 200 m setting national records in both. At the 1982 New Delhi Asian Games, she won silver medals in 100 m and 200 m, clocking 11.95 s and 25.32 s. At the 1983 Open National Championships in Jamshedpur, she broke the 200 m national record again clocking 23.9 s, and with 53.6 s, set a new national record in 400 m. At the Asian Championships in Kuwait City the same year, she won gold in 400 m.
1984 Los Angeles Olympics
Usha's best moment came at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. She entered on the back of a string of good performances at the year's New Delhi inter-state meet and Mumbai Open National Championships. However, poor performances in 100m and 200m at the Moscow World Championships prompted her to concentrate on the 400 m hurdles. At the Olympics trials in Delhi, she beat Asian Champion M. D. Valsamma to qualify for the Games. At another pre-Olympics trials, she clocked 55.7 seconds beating American top sprinter Judi Brown. At the Games, she clocked 56.81 s in the heats and 55.54 s in the semi-final, setting a new Commonwealth record as she entered the final. At the final, she came fourth, at 55.42 seconds, falling behind the eventual bronze medalist by 1/100th of a second. This followed after one of her competitors had a false start, which was said to have "broken her rhythm" as "she got off the blocks a bit slower at the restart."
In the 1985 Jakarta Asian Championships, Usha won six medals — five gold and one bronze. She won the 100 m in 11.64, 200 m in 23.05, 400 m in 52.62, an Asian record, and 400 m hurdles in 56.64, with the final two coming in a span of 35 minutes. Her fifth gold came in 4 x 400 m relay, and a final bronze in 4 x 100 m. She set a record in the process for most gold medals won at a single event in the history of the championships. In the first two of her wins, she equalled the Asian record held by Chi Cheng of Taiwan. She went on to better her personal best in 400 m a week later at the 1985 Canberra World Cup, when she clocked 51.61, finishing seventh. She almost replicated her Jakarta Championships performance at the 1986 Seoul Asian Games. She won the 100 metres silver with a time of 11.67 seconds losing the gold to Lydia de Vega. The 200 metres gold came in 23.44, 400 metres gold in 52.16 and 4 x 400 m relay gold in 3:34.58, all of which were new Games records. At the Games, British athletics coach Jim Alford said of her, "Usha is a first class athlete, a tough competitor and a terrific runner to watch. She has all the potential. Given careful guidance, she can be world class."
From 1983–89, Usha garnered 13 golds at ATF meets. 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.
- Represented India in 4 x 100 metres relay together with Rachita Mistry, E. B. Shyla, and Saraswati Saha at the 1998 Asian Championships in Athletics where her team won the gold medal on way to setting the current national record of 44.43 s.
Awards and honours
- D.Litt. (Honoris causa) conferred by University of Calicut, 2018
- Padma Shri in 1985
- Arjuna Award in 1983
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|1980||Olympic Games||Moscow, Russia||5th (heats)||100 metres||12.27|
|1982||Asian Games||New Delhi, India||2nd||100 metres||11.67|
|1983||Asian Championships||Kuwait City, Kuwait||2nd||200 metres||24.68|
|1984||Olympic Games||Los Angeles, USA||4th||400 metres hurdles||55.42 AR|
|7th||4 × 400 m relay||3:32.49|
|1985||Asian Championships||Jakarta, Indonesia||1st||100 metres||11.64 AR|
|1st||200 metres||23.05 AR|
|1st||400 metres||52.62 AR|
|1st||400 metres hurdles||56.64|
|3rd||4 × 100 m relay||45.22|
|1st||4 x 400 m relay||3:34.10|
|World Cup||Canberra, Australia||7th||400 metres||51.61 AR|
|5th||400 metres hurdles||56.35|
|8th||4 x 400 m relay||3:37.59|
|1986||Asian Games||Seoul, South Korea||2nd||100 metres||11.67|
|1st||200 metres||23.44 GR|
|1st||400 metres||52.16 GR|
|1st||400 metres hurdles||56.06 GR|
|1st||4 x 400 m relay||3:34.58 GR|
|1987||Asian Championships||Singapore||2nd||100 metres||11.74|
|1st||400 metres hurdles||56.48|
|2nd||4 x 100 m relay||45.49|
|1st||4 x 400 m relay||3:34.50|
|World Championships||Rome, Italy||DNS||400 metres||—|
|6th (semifinal)||400 metres hurdles||55.89|
|8th (heats)||4 x 400 m relay||3:31.55|
|1988||Olympic Games||Seoul, South Korea||7th (heats)||400 metres hurdles||59.55|
|1989||Asian Championships||New Delhi, India||2nd||100 metres||11.74|
|1st||400 metres hurdles||56.14|
|2nd||4 x 100 m relay||44.87|
|1st||4 x 400 m relay||3:32.95|
|1990||Asian Games||Beijing, China||4th||200 metres||24.29|
|2nd||4 x 100 m relay||44.99|
|2nd||4 x 400 m relay||3:38.45|
|1994||Asian Games||Hiroshima, Japan||4th||200 metres||24.29|
|5th||4 x 100 relay|
|2nd||4 x 400 m relay||3:33.34|
|1996||Olympic Games||Atlanta, USA||DSQ||4 x 400 m relay||—|
|1998||Asian Championships||Fukuoka, Japan||3rd||200 metres||23.27|
|1st||4 x 100 m relay||44.43|
|2nd||4 x 400 m relay||3:34.04|
|Asian Games||Bangkok, Thailand||6th||400 metres||54.37|
|4th||4 x 100 m relay||44.77|
- P. T. USHA Personal Profile at www.ptusha.org
- Rayan, Stan (1 May 2011). "She set the track ablaze". The Hindu. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
- Nadar, A Ganesh (22 August 1998). ""I'm unstoppable now!"". rediff.com. Archived from the original on 16 November 2001. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
- "Indian Track Star P.T. Usha Hangs Up Her Spikes". International Association of Athletics Federations. 25 July 2000. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
- India Best21 (23 June 2016). "List of India's best Sportspeople". IndiaBest21. Archived from the original on 16 August 2017. Retrieved 30 June 2016.
- Usha School of Athletics: A giant stride forward Archived 1 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine
- Iype, George (11 September 2000). "'If I am wellknown today, it is all because of Usha'". rediff.com. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
- "P. T. Usha: Factfile". rediff.com. 11 September 2000. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
- "P.T. Usha: The gold rush". India Today. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
- "I never wanted to be an Olympian: P. T. Usha". India Today. 11 September 2000. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
- "Olympics moments: PT Usha misses bronze by a whisker". Daily News and Analysis. 21 May 2012. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
- Bobb, Dilip (31 October 1986). "The golden girl". India Today. Retrieved 14 February 2017.
- "No. 12: PT Usha's gold rush at the 1986 Seoul Asiad". ESPN.com. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
- "Committee Head".
- Vijaykumar, C.N.R (15 December 1998). "After the feast, the famine". www.rediff.com. Retrieved 4 September 2009.
- "National records" (PDF). ATHLETICS FEDERATION of INDIA. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 17 August 2013.[permanent dead link]
- "P T Usha: Against all hurdles". The Times of India. 13 February 2003. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
- "Calicut University confers D.Litt on Mohanlal, PT Usha". The Times of India. 29 January 2018. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
- P. T. Usha did not start (DNS) in the heats.
- P. T. Usha was a reserve member of the team which was disqualified (DSQ).