P. T. Usha | Biography, Career, Awards and Medals

Pilavullakandi Thekkeparambil Usha (P. T. Usha) is a retired Indian field and track athlete. She has been associated with Indian athletics since 1979. She is also known as the "Queen of Indian track and field". She is one of the most famous and successful female athletes and this fast-running girl had no match.

P. T. Usha | Biography, Career, Awards and Medals
  • Full Name: Pilavullakandi Thekkeparambil Usha
  • Nickname: Golden Girl, Payyoli Express
  • Nationality: Indian
  • Born: 27 June 1964 (age 58), in Kuttali, Kerala, India
  • Parents: E.P.M. Paithal and T. V. Lakshmi
  • Years active: 1976–2003
  • Employer: Indian Railways
  • Height: 171 cm (5 ft 7 in)
  • Spouse: V. Srinivasan

Early Life

P. T. Usha was born on 27 June 1964 in Kuttali, Kerala, India, to E.P.M. Paithal and T. V. Lakshmi. P. T. Usha was a weak child due to poor health in childhood. Her health improved during her primary school days, and people started seeing her image of a great athlete in him. Since her childhood, she was very interested in athletics and therefore she took admission to the ‘Sports School’ of Kannurat, at the age of 12. In her sports school, she was most supported by his instructor Shri. O. Found P. Nabiarka. In her Inter-State match held in Kerala in 1978, she won 3 golds.

Early career

P. T. Usha started her international career as an athlete at age of 16, in 1980, with the Pakistan Open National Meet in Karachi and named 4 gold medals for India. After this wonderful start, P. T. Usha participated in the ‘World Junior Invitation Meet’, in 1982, and won the gold medal in the 200-meter race and the bronze medal in the 100-meter race. In the next year, in the ‘Asian Track and Field Championships’ held in Kuwait, in 1983, PT Usha set a new record in the 400 meters race and won the gold.

P. T. Usha started her preparation for the Olympics in 1984 and in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, she finished the 400 meters race in the first round of the semi-finals, but she lost by a 1/100 margin in the finals to win the Bronze medal. Her race completion time was 55.42 seconds. The match was full of thrills, reminding a race of ‘Milkha Singh’ in 1960. It was the first time in the history of India when a female athlete reached the final round of the Olympics. Her time (55.42 seconds) for the 400m race is still a national record in India’s event.

P. T. Usha participated in the 'Asian Track and Field Championships' which took place in Jakarta, Indonesia, in 1985. In this championship, she won 5 gold and 1 bronze medal. P. T. Usha took part in the 200 m, 400 m, 400 m hurdles, and 4x400 m relay race, in the 10th Asian Games, which took place in Seoul, in 1986, and was victorious and the gold medal was won by India Given. Winning so many medals by the same athlete in a single event was a record in itself, which was done by her.

P.T. Usha participated in the Olympic Games, which were held in Seoul, in 1988, but just before the Game, she suffered a leg injury and with strong courage, she took part in that game for his country in the same condition. Unfortunately, she didn't get a single win. P.T. Usha went to the Asian Track Federation Meet held in Delhi with tremendous preparation, in 1989, and she won 4 gold medals and 2 silver medals there. After this PT Usha wanted to announce his retirement, but everyone asked him to play his last innings. After this, she participated in the ‘Beijing Asian Games’ in 1990 and won three silver medals.

PT Usha's Retirement

After playing games in Beijing, PT Usha retired from athletics in 1990, but she surprisingly returned to athletics at the age of 34, in 1998. After returning to athletics she participated in the ‘Asian Track Federation Meet’ held in Fukuoka, Japan,400-meter and won the Bronze medal in the 200-meter and 400-meter races.

When she turned 34, PT Usha improved his own timing in the 200-meter race and set a new national record. In 2000, PT Usha took his full-time retirement from athletics. The reason for her retirement was knee pain, but her ‘Usha Academy’ started the work of producing Indian Athletes.

Awards and Honors

For her successful career in sports, P. T. Usha is honored with many awards and honors. Some notable awards are:

  • Honorary doctorate (D.Litt.) conferred by Kannur University in 2000
  • Honorary doctorate (D.Sc.) conferred by IIT Kanpur in 2017
  • Honorary doctorate (D.Litt.) conferred by the University of Calicut in 2018
  • IAAF Veteran Pin in 2019
  • P. T. Usha was honored by Padma Shri in 1985.
  • Medals in Asian Games

    1. Gold medal at Seoul Asian Games in 200m – 1986
    2. Gold medal at Seoul Asian Games in 400m –1986
    3. Gold medal at Seoul Asian Games in 400m hurdles – 1986
    4. Gold medal at Seoul Asian Games in 4x400 m relay – 1986
    5. Silver medal at New Delhi Asian Games in 100 m – 1982
    6. Silver medal at New Delhi Asian Games in 200 m – 1982
    7. Silver medal at Seoul Asian Games in 100 m – 1986
    8. Silver medal at Beijing Asian Games in 400 m – 1990
    9. Silver medal at Beijing Asian Games in 4x100 m relay –1990
    10. Silver medal at Beijing Asian Games in 4x400 m relay – 1990
    11. Silver medal at Hiroshima Asian Games in 4x400 m relay –1994

    Medals in Asian Championships

    1. Gold medal in Kuwait City 400m – 1983
    2. Gold medal in Jakarta 100m – 1985
    3. Gold medal in Jakarta 200m – 1985
    4. Gold medal in Jakarta 400m – 1985
    5. Gold medal in Jakarta 400m hurdles – 1985
    6. Gold medal in Jakarta 4×400m Relay – 1985
    7. Gold medal in Singapore 400m – 1987
    8. Gold medal in Singapore 400m hurdles – 1987
    9. Gold medal in Singapore 4×400m Relay – 1987
    10. Gold medal in New Delhi 200m – 1989
    11. Gold medal in New Delhi 400m – 1989
    12. Gold medal in New Delhi 400m hurdles – 1989
    13. Gold medal in New Delhi 4×400m Relay – 1989
    14. Gold medal in Fukuoka 4×100m Relay – 1998
    15. Silver medal in Kuwait 200m – 1983
    16. Silver medal in Singapore 100m – 1987
    17. Silver medal in Singapore 4×100m Relay – 1987
    18. Silver medal in New Delhi 100m – 1989
    19. Silver medal in New Delhi 200m – 1989
    20. Silver medal in Fukuoka 4×400m Relay – 1998
    21. Bronze medal in Jakarta 4×100m Relay – 1985
    22. Bronze medal in Fukuoka 200m – 1998
    23. Bronze medal in Fukuoka 400m – 1998

    For her efforts and outstanding service towards athletics, as well as for raising the name of the nation in the world, PT Usha was honored with 'Padma Shri', in 1985, which is the fourth major honor of the country and was also awarded by ‘Arjuna Award’ in 1984.

    Achievement

    • In 1977, PT Usha set a national record at the State Athletes meet in Kottayam.
    • At the age of 16, Usha took part in the 1980 Moscow Olympics, after which she became the youngest Indian athlete.
    • By participating in Olympics in 1984, PT Usha became the first Indian female athlete to reach the final of the Olympics.
    • At the Los Angeles Olympics, PT Usha set a record of 55.42 seconds in the 400m hurdle competition. Which is still the Indian National Record.
    • Indian Olympic Association nominated PT Usha for ‘Sports Person of the Century’ and ‘Sports Women of the Millennium’.
    • In the ‘Asian Athletes Meet’ held in Jakarta, PT Usha was named the ‘Greatest Women Athlete’ for her outstanding sports career, in 1985.
    • PT Usha was awarded the ‘World Trophy’ in 1985 and 1986 for being the best athlete.
    • The ‘Adidas Golden Shoe Award for the Best Athlete’ was named to PT Usha, after the 1986 Asian Games.

    PT Usha's Participation in Competitions

    • In 1981, PT Usha participated in Pune International Invitation Games and won 2 gold medals. The same year she won 1 gold medal in Hisar International Invitation Games and 2 gold medals at Ludhiana International Invitation Games.
    • In 1982, she won one gold and one silver in World Junior Competition, Seoul, and two silver medals at New Delhi Asian Games. In 1983, she won one gold and one silver medal in an Asian race competition in Kuwait. In the same year, she won two gold medals in Delhi International Invitation Games.
    • In 1984, in Inglewood California, PT Usha received 2 gold medals at the International Invitation Games in the United States, and in the same year she won 3 gold medals at the 8 country International Invitation Games in Singapore.
    • In 1985, she won 2 gold and 2 silver medals at the World Railway Games in Olomog, Czech Republic, and was declared the best railway player.
    • In 1986, she participated in Seoul Asian Games and won 4 gold and 1 silver medal. She also won 1 gold medal in the Malaysian free running competition and 3 gold medals in Singapore’s Lions race competition.
    • In 1987, she won 2 gold medals in the Malaysian free race competition of Kuala Lumpur, 3 Gold Medals in the International Invitation Games of New Delhi, and 5 Gold Medals in Calcutta South Asia Union Games and she Participated in the World Championships of Daud in Rome in the same year. She became the first Indian to enter the finals of the 400m hurdles.
    • In 1989, PT Usha won 4 gold and 2 silver medals in the Asian race jump competition in New Delhi. In the same year, she won 3 Gold Medals in International Invitation Games in Calcutta and 4 gold medals in the Malaysian free-running competition.
    • In 1999, Usha won one gold and two silver medals in Kathmandu’s South Asian Games, and in the same year, she won one gold medal in the Raja Bhalendra Singh race competition in New Delhi.

    Personal Information

    PT Usha married V. Srinivasa, an inspector with Central Industry Security Force in 1991. The couple was blessed with a boy, Ujjwal Srinivasa in 1992. In the present time (2022) PT Usha runs Athletes School in Kerala, where she trains young athletes.

    "If the mind says the injury is nothing, it will mean nothing. If the mind says competitions are nothing, it will mean nothing".

    ~ PT Usha