The Life Of PT Usha

She is India's first track queen, but few remember her sprint away from personal odds...🏃‍♀️

In my showcase you can see everything except Olympics medal. In my mind, every time... that is there. biggest race a whisker She lost her but she became Indian woman athletes. a trailblazer for The only woman- sports that I could look up to was PT Usha. She was born in a humble family in a humble ami in Kerala's Kozhikode district. Kozhikode district her parents assumed a bright student, she would become a teacher like her mother. KERALA But at age 12 - she discovered a completely she discovered But at age 12, diffe ent ca KERALAY When I was studying in my school for fourth standard, physical education teacher of my school wanted to make me run with champion of the district. I'm in fourth standard, she was in seventh standard. Tran with her and then I won the race. That is the starting actually. Her father had reservations about athletics in the hope that it could fetch in the future. Soon, she won a to an all-girls sports school set up by the state government. Here she met coach OM Nambiar who would go on to become her Indian athlete. She was just 16 when she became a household name by winning at the Pakistan Open National Meet in Karachi - the first international event of her life. He used to make her run. He made her PT Usha. Now she's darted in a way that she'll never return! The same year, she nervously boarded her first flight too... which took her to faraway Moscow for the 1980 Olympics Olympics. She became the youngest Indian sprinter to compete in the Olympics unbroken even four decades later. a record that remains She said she felt like a "primary in comparison with her senior colleagues imposing foreign sportspeople. She also found it hard to communicate with her Indian teammates who mostly spoke Hindi and English. Although she didn't win her come to terms the exposure helped with a world far removed from home. At 18, she won a gold and a silver in Delhi. at the Asian Games the feat at the Asian Track and Field Championships in Kuwait... At1 9 she repeated and was soon conferred Arjuna award. the prestigious At age 20, she the first Indian sportswoman MEMORIAL to reach an But she lost out on a bronze in the 400 metre race by an agonising 1/100th of a second 0.01 second message from then Prime Minister Later, Indira Gandhi lifted her dampened spirits. At 21, she reached the ninnacle of the pinnacle of her career winning five gold This, despite her Filipino rival Lydia De Vega expressing her suspicion about her performance su picion about which forced her to undergo dope tests after every race But they found her to be innocent each time and later that year she was awarded the Padma Shri and rechristened as after the village where she was raised Her unforgiving training, however, caused pain in her heels... leaving an operation as her only way out. This also meant she wouldn't be able So, she soldiered on with on without the fix. But her injury worsened and she failed to qualify for the 1988 Seoul Olympics at age 24. A lot of people used to criticise me very, very badly. They used to throw stone to my home. They are just criticising. They've forgotten everything what I did earlier. After five months of treatment, at the age of 25 she silenced her critics when she won four golds and a silver At 27, she gave in to "pressure" from her parents and married V Srinivasan, an inspector in the Central ndustrial Security Force. a son birth to a son A year later, she gave birth to her only child and almost retired from sports. But her subdued passion found a way out. At 34, the "queen of track" returned to her kingdom at the 1998 Asian Track and Field meet in Japan. Here she set a new national record of 23.27 seconds in the 200 m race. Having soldiered on for five years, she finally retired at the age of 36. But she promised to help win the Olympic medal she never could. Usha School of Athletics in Calicut, Kerala. But even about two decades later, an Olympic medal India had not won in track and field. shortcomings of Indian athletics which, she said, failed to recognise talent at the grassroots level provide scientific training to athletes. the Golden Girl who put on the global athletics map. Sarah Philippine Estefanía Gagey Journalist Hamna Hisam Siddiqui Video Editor Sarah Philippine Brut. subscribe. Watch more: