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P.T. Usha – An athelete shattering barriers

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The Indian Sports community today is shining all over the world and bringing home medals after medals. Be it Cricket Tournaments or Olympics, our sports heroes are bring laurels in various categories. But at a time when this wasn’t the case and sportspersons struggled to get appropriate mentorship or funds, one woman battled all odds to achieve remarkable feat in running and became a household name. Let’s look at her inspiring journey to fame.

1. Pilavullakandi Thekkeparambil Usha or P.T. Usha was born on June of 1964, in Kozhikhode, Kerela to a humble family. Her passion for sports did not diminish despite the humble beginnings or poor health. Instead, she rose to be later known as Payyoli Express.
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Image Courtesy : news9express.com
2. It was the year 1976 when a young PT Usha was first noticed by a celebrated athletics coach O M Nambiar while she was being awarded Rs 250 by Kerala Government in a prize distribution ceremony. He analysed her form and speed and instantly decided to train her.
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Image Courtesy : ajitvadakayil.blogspot.com
3. The coaching began showing results as two years later, in an inter-state junior meet, 14-year old PT Usha won four gold medals in 100m, 200m, 60m hurdles and high jump.
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Image Courtesy : www. newindianexpress.com
4. At the age of 16, PT Usha became the youngest Indian Sprinter to compete in an Olympic event while participating at the 1980 Moscow Olympics.
‘Dum Maaro Dum’

5. Her stint with national records began in 1981 when she finished 100m and 200m in 11.8 seconds and 24.6 seconds respectively in the interstate meet in Bangalore

For the film

Image Courtesy : www.thebetterindia.com

6. It was the year of 1982 when she began winning accolades in the international arena. She won silver medals in 100m and 200m clocking a fascinating 11.59s and 25.32 in the New Delhi Asian Games. However, her first Gold came in 1983 at the Asian Championship held at Kuwait in the 400m category.

For the film

Image Courtesy : www. newindianexpress.com
7. PT Usha’s international recognition came in 1984 when she made a record of 55.42 seconds in the 400m hurdles, a first ever record in Indan Women’s athletics. Interestingly, in a pre-trial of the event, she beat famous American sprinter Judi Brown.
For the film

Image Courtesy : www.thebetterindia.com
8. At the Jakarta Asian Athletic Meet of 1985, she was awarded with the title of the Greatest Woman Athlete. The very next year, she won the Adidas Golden Shoe award for Best Athelete at 1986 Seoul Asian Games.

For the film

Image Courtesy : www.generalknowledgequizblog.com

9. Dubbed as ‘The Queen of Indian Track and Field’, Usha is currently employed at Indian Southern Railways as an officer and also running a school for athletics in Kerela. Her training has already produced a noteworthy athlete Tintu Lukka, who has become a national recold holder in Women’s 800 meters

For the film

Image Courtesy : schoopwhoop.com
PT Usha continues to remain an inspiration to thousands of
women both in India, and abroad.
On her birthday, we salute her spirit and dedication to sports.

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