Legendary athlete PT Usha has been chosen a member of the Athletes Commission of the Asian Athletics Association in recognition of her stellar achievements at the continental stage. The 55-year-old athlete-turned-coach, who was the leading sprinter of her time in Asia, will be a part and one of the six members of the AAA Athletes Commission, to be headed by 1992 Olympics gold medallist hammer thrower Andrey Abduvaliyev of Uzbekistan.

“I have accepted the appointment as a member of the AAA Athletes Commission. It is a great honour for me and for the country,” Usha told PTI

The other members are Wang Yu of China, 2012 London Olympics gold medallist triple jumper Olga Rypakova of Kazakhstan, Lee Hup Wei of Malaysia and Saad Shaddad of Saudi Arabia.

Key Takeaways

  • PT Usha is one among 6 members of AAA Athletes Commission
  • The commission is headed by hammer thrower Andrey Abduvaliyev
  • Usha is the first Indian woman to reach an Olympic final

Usha, who became the first Indian woman to reach an Olympic final, is the winner of several Asian Games sprint medals. She is now motivating young athletes through her coaching academy, Usha School of Athletics.

Hailing from Kerala, Usha’s achievements set an example for Indian women looking to enter the sports world.

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Usha is popularly known as ‘Payyoli Express’, was the queen of tracks at the Asian stage in the 1980s. She remained the reigning queen of Indian track and field for two decades.

She won four gold medals and one bronze in the 1986 Asian Games in Seoul. A year before, she won five gold and a bronze in the Asian Championships in Jakarta. She missed an Olympic medal in the 1984 Games in Los Angles.

She retired from athletics in the year 2000 and set up her sports academy in Kerala.

She was awarded the Arjuna Award in 1983 and the Padma Shree in 1985.

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Feature Image Credit: India Today

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