Husband: V Srinivasan
Age: 58 Years
Hometown: Koothali, Kerala
|Full name||Pilavullakandi Thekkeraparambil Usha Hindustan Times|
|Name(s) Earned Google Books- Legendary Sports Personalities Reads Part 1||• Payyoli Express
• Asian Sprint Queen
• Running Machine
• Golden Girl of India
|Profession(s)||Former Athlete, Nominated Member of Rajya Sabha|
|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters– 170 cm
in meters– 1.70 m
in feet & inches– 5’ 7”
|International Debut||Pakistan Open National Meet at Karachi (1980)|
|Coach/Mentor||O. M. Nambiar|
|Personal Best||• 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)
• 1978: National Inter-State Meet held in Kollam, Kerala in 100 metres event
• 1979: XXV National Games in Hyderabad in 100 metres event
• 1983: Asian Championship held in Kuwait City, Kuwait in 400 metres event
• 1985: Asian Championship held in Jakarta, Indonesia in 100 metres event
• 1985: Asian Championship held in Jakarta, Indonesia in 200 metres event
• 1985: Asian Championship held in Jakarta, Indonesia in 400 metres event
• 1985: Asian Championship held in Jakarta, Indonesia in 400 metres hurdles event
• 1985: Asian Championship held in Jakarta, Indonesia in 4×400 metres relay event
• 1986: Asian Games held in Seoul, South Korea in 200 metres event
• 1998: Asian Championship in Fukuoka, Japan in 4×100 metres relay event
Other Notable Events
• 1984: Finished 7th in the Olympic Games held in Los Angeles, USA in 4×100 metres hurdles event
Note: She has won many more medals at various national and international events.
|Wikipedia- P. T. Usha Records||
• 1984: 55.42 seconds record in 400 metres hurdles event in Olympic Games held in Los Angeles, USA
• 1985: 11.64 seconds record in 100 metres event in Asian Championship held in Jakarta, Indonesia
• 1985: 23.05 seconds record in 200 metres event in Asian Championship held in Jakarta, Indonesia
• 1985: 52.62 seconds in 400 metres event in Asian Championship held in Jakarta, Indonesia
• 1985: 51.61 record in 400 metres event in World Cup held in Canberra, Australia
Asian Games Records
|Awards & Honours||
• 1984: Padma Shri Award
• 1984: Arjuna Award
• 1984, 1985, 1987 and 1989: Best Athlete of Asia Award
• 2000: Best Sportswoman of the Century by the Indian Olympic Association
|Date of Birth||27 June 1964 (Saturday)|
|Age (as of 2022)||58 Years|
|School(s)||• Trikottur AUP School in Kozhikode, Kerala (class 1 to class 7)
• GVHSS (Sports) Kannur, Kerala
|College/University||Providence Women’s College, Kozhikode, Kerala Wikipedia- Providence Women’s College|
|Ethnicity||Malayali The News Minute|
|Food Habit||Non-vegetarian YouTube- Prasar Bharati Archives|
Accused of Cheating and Dishonesty
In 2021, an former Indian athlete Jemma Joseph filed a complaint in the Vellayil Police Station against P. T. Usha and six other members of a construction company. The complaint was filed under IPC Section 420 (cheating and dishonesty). ABP Live In the complaint, Jemma said,
“I paid Rs 46 lakh to Usha for an apartment and was promised that the construction will be completed within the given time. However, the apartment was not ready nor did the construction company was ready to give back the money. When I confronted the builders, the firm said PT Usha was accountable for paying back the sum but the former national athlete did not give back the money.”
Later, the complaint was forwarded to the Kozhikode Police Chief AV George. The case was the forwarded to the Kerala Real Estate Regulatory Authority.
|Relationships & More|
|Marriage Date||25 April 1991|
|Husband/Spouse||V Srinivasan (inspector at the Central Industrial Security Force and former national kabaddi player)|
|Children||Son– Dr Vignesh V Ujjwal (sports medicine expert)|
Father– E.P.M. Paithal (cloth merchant)
Mother– T. V. Lakshmi (teacher)
Sister(s)– She has four sisters out of which two are Shobha and Suma.
Some Lesser Known Facts About P. T. Usha
- P. T. Usha is a former Indian athlete and a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha. She has brought many laurels to India with her various athletic competitions at the national and international levels.
- She was born to a poor family. She was brought up in Thikkoti, Kerala. She once fell ill in her childhood, her family was not able to provide her with better treatment after which she became very weak. India Times
- Since childhood, she was inclined towards sports. She loved to run around and jump over fences while playing with her siblings and friends.
- In an interview, P. T. Usha shared the meaning behind her name ‘Pilavullakandi Thekkeraparambil Usha.’ She said,
Pilaullakandi means that there was a tree in the compound of my house which was not anywhere in the whole village. And Thekkeparambil means that my house was in the south direction of the tree which is there. That’s why I got the name PT Usha.”
- When she was in school, her PT teacher asked her to participate in the school’s athletic competition. She agreed to it and won her first event against her senior (who was in class 7 and was a sub-district champion). She then started practising running and participated in various athletic competitions at her school.
The school ground where P. T. Usha used to practice in her childhood
- In 1976, while she was participating in one such competition, the Indian athletics coach O. M. Nambiar spotted her and decided to start her professional training in athletics. During an interview, while talking about the same, Nambiar said,
I first saw Usha in 1976 during the Payyoli school annual sports meet where I was the guest to distribute the prize. 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. She was different from others in the sports school and was very punctual. I lived near her house and therefore I had lots of time to train her. The results were quick.”
P. T. Usha on winning an athletic competition in her teens
- In the same year, a sports school for women was started by the Kerala State Government in Kannur, Kerala. She then joined the school and started her training in athletics under her coach O. M. Nambiar. She was studying in class 8 at that time. Later, the Kerala Government awarded her a scholarship of Rs 250 pm for her outstanding performance in athletics.
P. T. Usha in a hurdle race
- In 1979, she started gaining popularity after winning the individual championship at the National School Games. During an interview, Usha shared that her father always supported her and used to accompany her in the initial years of her training sessions. She said,
My father used to come to the ground where I used to practice. He used to bring a stick to the field. Because when I used to go for a run in the early hours, many dogs used to come there. Sometimes she used to run on a dusty road along the railway line and used to race with the passing vehicles. PT Usha also loved running on the seashore. I loved to train by the sea. There were a variety of exercises that could be done. There was no side-to-side. You could also do uphill running and run downhill. As you wish.”
An old picture of P. T. Usha doing stretching exercise
- In 1980, P. T. Usha bagged 4 gold medals in her first international tournament Pakistan Open National Meet at Karachi.
- A year later, she was offered an assistant job at the Indian Railways on sports quota. The Kerala Government gifted her a Standard 2000 car for her praiseworthy performance in various athletic events.
P. T. Usha with her car
- In 1982, she won a gold medal in 200m and a bronze medal in 100m event at the World Junior Invitation Meet (now World Junior Athletics Championship) held in Seoul.
- In 1984, she qualified for the Los Angeles Olympics. She participated in the 400 metres hurdle race, but she lost the bronze medal by only 1/100th of a second. Even the announcer at the event had announced that P. T. Usha finished third. Later, he corrected himself and re-announced the results.
- Usha was disheartened by the results and was demotivated at the Los Angeles Olympics 1984. It was the then Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi who sent Usha a message to motivate her. The message reads,
Usha, my daughter, you did very well for the country. Don’t worry, try harder next time, we are all with you.”
An old photo of P. T. Usha with Indira Gandhi
During an interview, she talked about not winning the Olympic medal. She said,
I never wanted to be an Olympian. All I wanted was to keep breaking my own record. I never competed to defeat anybody. That food without any nutrition supplement had cost her the bronze. That definitely affected my performance in the last 35 metres of my event since I couldn’t sustain the energy level. We would jealously look at the athletes from other countries enjoying fabulous amenities; they had the latest equipment at their disposal. We wondered if we too would one day have access to such facilities.”
In an interview, when her coach was asked to comment about the same, he said,
At the 1978 Quilon nationals, she won five medals. That was the beginning and then there was no looking back. I was convinced of Usha’s potential. As she moved from school to college, my training for Usha continued making her win 14 out of the 15 gold medals in the Kerala state college sports meet. I always wanted her to move up the ladder of success because I knew she was a brilliant athlete. Therefore, from day one, my training techniques for her were accordingly. Whenever she was out of town in coaching camps and sports meets across the country, I had to virtually look her after like a father. I cooked food for her, especially when we were abroad. I wanted to ensure that she should not lose out due to lack of continuous training. I do not have any regrets that she could not win the prized medal in the Los Angeles Olympics. She almost won the medal. That was our saddest and glorious moment. I think she lost out because the race was called for a second start. She was moving ahead so well in the first start that, if not for the restart.”
- P. T. Usha then won medals in many national and international athletic competitions such as Seoul Asian Games, Seoul Olympics, and Beijing Asian Games.
P. T. Usha while giving an autograph to her fans
- In 1987, Usha, along with the Indian author Lokesh Sharma, authored an autobiography titled ‘Golden Girl: The Autobiography of P. T. Usha.’
Golden Girl- The Autobiography of P. T. Usha
- In 1991, Usha got married and a year later, her son was born. She then decided to take retirement from athletics, but her husband motivated her to restart her training session.
An old photo of P. T. Usha with her son Vignesh
- Usha then participated in various athletic championships and won many medals at national and international events. In an interview, Usha said that it was not easy for her to make a comeback. She said,
When I started again, nobody helped me. They tried to pull me down. The Indian altitude was — Usha is finished. When I went to practise here, people teased me, and they laughed. So I went to Patiala to train. There I found it much better. I had to lose a lot of weight — and I did.”
- Usha had a knee injury in 1995, after which decided to quit athletics. During an interview, she talked about it, she said,
Actually, since I did well in the last season I wanted to run in Asian track and field meet and the Sydney Olympics. I wanted to be in Asian track and field team and planned to announce my retirement after that meet. But now, after all the practice and competition, my knee is giving trouble. It got injured in 1995 and was operated upon once. I was under treatment, but I need at least 20 to 30 days for speed work, and three months more to get back into full form. The Asian track and field meet is starting on August 28, by which time I won’t be fully fit. After that there is no international meet, as the next one is only in 2002. I don’t want to continue till then.”
- In 2000 she announced her retirement from all competitive athletic events.
- In 2002, she started an athletic training school Usha School of Athletics in Kerala. During an interview, while talking about her school, she said,
After many years of experience in athletics, I am convinced that what we lack in India is not talent, but basic, modern and scientific facilities. If we train our young Indian sports talents nothing, not even Olympic medals is unachievable. Everyone thinks that bagging an Olympic medal is a difficult task. It is not. I would have certainly made it to the Los Angeles Olympics if I had a little more exposure in the 400m hurdles. Considering my limited exposure, I did well as I had participated only in two races before I went to Los Angeles. It was my lack of experience in the 400m hurdles that cost me the gold medal. If India goes for a real, systematic and scientific approach, I am sure my country has a great athletic future.”
P. T. Usha while training her students
- In 2017, while talking about not including the Indian athlete PU Chitra from the World Championship, Usha said,
PU Chitra was excluded from the team for the World Championship for not qualifying for the mark set by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). The team was picked by the Athletics Federation of India (AFI). I was not a part of the selection committee and I attended the meeting only as an observer. Even though Chitra had won the 1,500m gold in the recent Asian Athletics Championships, the AFI has the discretion to decide whether to include her or not in the squad.”
- For the past few years, Usha has been appointed as a member of the Board of Advisors of India’s International Movement to Unite Nations, Mumbai and a committee head of the Indian Talent organization at the National Level Indian Talent Olympiad.
- She was nominated as the Dean, Faculty of Sports Science & Physical Education of Kannur University in 2020.
- A few books have been published on the life of P. T. Usha such as ‘P.T. Usha, the Pride of India’ by Konark Publishers and ‘P.T. Usha’ by Kumkum Khanna.
P.T. Usha by Kumkum Khanna
- P.T. Usha has been featured on the cover of a few magazines.
P. T. Usha featured on a magazine cover
- She has appeared in a few TV commercials like Kanan Devan Tea and Raidco Curry Powder.
- Many Indian sportswomen like P. V. Sindhu and Dutee Chand, considers P. T. Usha as their idol.
An old photo of P. T. Usha with PV Sindhu
- Usha loves to watch films and listen to songs from Hindi and Malayalam films.
- In Kozhikode, Kerala, a road is named P. T. Usha Road.
P. T. Usha road
- Usha is a dog lover and owns a few pet dogs.
P. T. Usha with her pet dogs
- Usha was nominated as a member of the Rajya Sabha by the former President of India Ram Nath Kovind. She took an oath in Hindi in the Upper House on 20 July 2022.
|↑2||Google Books- Legendary Sports Personalities Reads Part 1|
|↑3||Wikipedia- P. T. Usha|
|↑4||Wikipedia- Providence Women’s College|
|↑5||The News Minute|
|↑6||YouTube- Prasar Bharati Archives|