The Queen of tracks and field and the Payyoli Express PT Usha has been conferred with the Veteran Pin by the International Association of Athletes Foundation (IAAF). She was bestowed with the award at the 52nd IAAF conference held in Doha on Wednesday. Further, she was one of the three Asian athletes who were given the honour. The award was presented to her by the President of IAAF, Sebastian Coe.

Key Takeaways: 

  • PT Usha has been conferred with the Veteran Pin by the International Association of Athletes foundation.
  • She was bestowed with the award in the 52nd IAAF conference held in Doha on Wednesday. She was one of the three Asian athletes who were bestowed with the honour.
  • The award was presented to her by the President of IAAF, Sebastian Coe.

PT Usha has expressed her elation and gratitude for the honour by tweeting a picture where she is receiving the Veteran Pin award from Sebastian Coe.

Pilavullakandi Thekkeparampil Usha or PT Usha is the pride of India with marvellous feats in her athletic career. The 55-year-old has achieved an irreplaceable place in the sports record of India. “Queen of track and field of India”, “Payyoli Express”, “Golden Girl” are a few of the many epithets that were bestowed on her. She belonged to a simple and humble family of Kerala.  Her manifold achievements are recorded as the golden period of Indian Sports history, which can never be erased or outshone. The honour of Veteran Pin is proof of her importance in the Indian sporting world.

Her Life at a glance

Born in Kerala on June 27, 1964, PT Usha was interested in sports right from her childhood. However, hailing from a family that had no interest in sports and conformed to a stereotypical idea of career and life for a woman, coming out as a sportsperson was a challenge for her. Her uncle encouraged her to stick to her interest in sports only to get the job as a sports trainer. No one imagined that she would turn out to be a legend of Indian sports history. Nevertheless, Usha continued to work for her interest and in 1976 joined the Sports Division for women started by Kerala Government in Kannur, under coach O.M. Nambiar.

PT Usha’s first success as an athlete was in 1979 when she won the individual championship at the National School Game. Later in 1980, she participated in her International sports meet where she won five medals for India.

Her Major Achievements

PT Usha’s first success as an athlete was in 1979 when she won the individual championship at the National School Game. Later in 1980, she participated in her International sports meet where she won five medals for India. Undoubtedly, the journey of the unbeatable sprinter of India had received its powerful opening, the journey ahead could not have been superficial.

The greatest achievement that marked PT Usha’s life as an athlete was her excellent performance at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. She became the first Indian sprinter to have reached the finals of 400m hurdles. However, she missed the bronze by one-hundredth of a second.

Besides, 1985, PT Usha won five gold medals and one bronze at the Asian Tracks and field championship at Jakarta, Indonesia. She won the five gold medals in 100m, 200m, 400m, 400m hurdles and the 4x400m relay. While at the Seoul Asian Game she won four gold medals and in Beijing Asian Games she brought back three silver medals for India. She was awarded the prestigious Arjuna Award in 1983 and Padma Shree in 1985 in recognition of her spectacular achievements.

Achievements after marriage

After a short pause following her marriage in 1991 and childbirth, Usha came back to the fields with a wonderful opening of bronze medals at 200m and 400m in Asian Track Federation Meet in Fukuoka, Japan 1998.

In 2000, the Golden Girl retired from the fields and set up her own sports academy in Kerala, The PT Usha Sports Academy.

In 2000, the Golden Girl retired from the fields and set up her own sports academy in Kerala, The PT Usha Sports Academy. Currently, she is also the committee head of Indian Talent Organisation that conducts Indian National Olympiads across India.

P.T. Usha continues to inspire us

PT Usha, the queen of Indian tracks and fields, is not just a name printed in the elementary GK books. She is a phenomenal as the sportsperson of India and beyond that; she is a woman of inspiration. Usha is not only the legend of Indian sports history but also an idol for women aspiring to be one of the legends. The award of Veteran Pin could not have received a better awardee than the Payyoli Express, PT Usha.

Picture Credit: India Today

Also Read:  “Sports is What Keeps Us Together,” Well said PT Usha!

Rudrani Kumari is an intern with SheThePeople.TV

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