Pilavullakandi Thekkeparambil Usha (born 27 June 1964), popularly known as P. T. Usha, is an Indiantrack 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.
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 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.
Set a national record at the state athletic meet at Kottayam, 1977.
Captured the limelight as a junior athlete in the national interstate meet at Kollam, 1978.
Participated in the Moscow Olympics, 1980.
Became the first Indian woman to reach the final of an Olympic event.
Became the youngest Indian sprinter, aged 16, to compete in the 1980 Moscow Olympics.
Participated in the 1982 Delhi Asiad.
Tried the 400m for the first time at the 1983 Asian Track and Field Meet (re-christened as the Asian championship) at Kuwait. She emerged successful in the one-lapper in an international arena for the first time.
Achieved a record of 55.42 seconds at Los Angeles, the very first time the 400m hurdles was added to the women's athletics. This is the current Indian national record.
Won 5 gold medals and 1 bronze in 1985, at the Jakarta Asian Athletic meet.
Won 4 golds and 1 silver in 1986, Seoul Asian Games, claiming for herself the title of Asia's sprint queen.
Took a hiatus from the sport following her marriage in 1991, returning in 1993.