Pilavullakandi Thekkeparambil Usha (born June 27, 1964)
Popularly known as P. T. Usha, is an Indian track and field athlete from the state of Kerala. P. T. Usha has been associated with Indian athletics since 1979.
She is the brand ambassador for “SPEEDSTAR”.
She is regarded as one of the greatest athletes India has ever produced and is often called the "queen of Indian track and field". Born in the village of Payyoli, Kozhikode District, Kerala, she is nicknamed the Payyoli Express.
In 1979 P. T. Usha participated in the National School Games, where she was noticed by O. M. Nambiar, who coached her throughout her career. Her debut in the 1980 Moscow Olympics proved lacklustre. In the 1982 New Delhi Asiad, she got the silver medal in the 100m and the 200m, but at the Asian Track and Field Championship in Kuwait a year later, Usha took the gold in the 400m with a new Asian record. From 1983-89, Usha garnered 13 golds at ATF meets.
At the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, she finished first in the semi-finals of the 400 metres hurdles, but faltered in the finals, reminiscent of Milkha Singh's 1960 defeat. There was a nail-biting photo finish for the third place. Usha lost the bronze by 1/100th of a second. She became the first Indian woman (and the fifth Indian) to reach the final of an Olympic event by winning her 400m hurdles semi-final. In the 10th Asian Games held at Seoul in 1986, P. T. Usha won 4 gold medals and 1 silver medal in the track and field events. Here she created new Asian Games records in all the events in which she participated. She won five golds at the 6th Asian Track and Field Championship at Jakarta in 1985. Her six medals at the same meet is a record for a single athlete in a single international meet.
In 1985 Asian Track& Field Meet at Jakarta (Indonesia) she secured 5 gold medals in 100meters, 200,400,400m hurdles, 4x400 m relay and 1 Bronze medal in 4x100 m relay races. This record of hers in the World of Athletics had not been matched or surpassed by any other women in the World of Athletics till this date. No Male Athlete yet has won 5 gold medals at any IAAF approved Meet.
Awards & Honours
Recipient of Arjuna Award, 1984.
Greatest women athlete, in 1985 Jakarta Asian Athletic Meet.
Padma Sree in 1984.
Best Athlete in Asia Award in 1984,1985,1986,1987, and 1989.
Marshal Tito award for the best railway sportsperson in 1984,1985, 1989 and 1990
986 Seoul Asian Games, won the Adidas Golden Shoe Award for the best athlete
Thirty International Awards, for her excellence in Athletics.
Kerala Sports Journalists Award for the year 1999.
World Trophy for best Athlete 1985, 1986
NDTV Profit Support My School - Speed Star Sonepat City Heats with PT Usha
Coverage on NDTV : Kooh Sports Launches 'Speed Star'