PT Usha: Education, Records, Awards & More

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P T Usha

PT Usha was an Indian track and field athlete. She has been a woman who has inspired generations of other woman athletes. PT Usha’s full name is  Pilavullakandi Thekkeparambil Usha, is also to as the nation’s “queen of track and field”. An elegant runner with extended strides, she led the way in Asian track-and-field competitions for much of the 1980s, securing 23 medals in total, with 14 of them being gold. She was a favourite among the audience in every race she participated in. In this blog, you will get to know more about PT Usha and her life.  

Overview of PT Usha’s Life
NamePilavullakandi Thekkeraparambil Usha
Born27th June, 1964
NicknamePayyoli Express, Golden Girl
EducationGVHSS (Sports) Kannur
SpouseV. Srinivasan
ChildrenVignesh Ujjwal, Ujjwal Srinivasan
Sports CareerRetired Indian field and track athlete
Active Years1976-2000
ServiceIndian Railways
AwardsPadma Shri, Arjuna Award for Athletics
BooksGolden Girl: The Autobiography of P.T. Usha

Who was P.T. Usha?

PT Usha was born on 27th July 1964 in the small town of Payyoli in Calicut, Kerala. She hailed from a family of severe poverty and struggled with many health issues. The name of Usha’s mother is T.V. Lakshmi and her father’s name is E.P.M. Paithal. 

  • PT Usha attended school in Payyoli, a place that eventually became known by her nickname ‘The Payyoli Express’. 
  • Her innate talent was spotted at the age of nine. 
  • During a school race, a fourth-grade student easily defeated the school’s champion, who was three years her senior.
  • This event amazed the teachers, and her remarkable skills over the following years led her to be included in one of the inaugural groups of sports-focused schools established by the Kerala government.
Credits: The Deccan Herald

  • She received a scholarship for sports of Rs. 250 from the government.
  • The energetic young woman made her debut in professional athletics at the National School Games, catching the eye of O.M. Nambiar, a renowned athletics coach, with her exceptional skills. 
  • In 1991, she married V. Srinivasan, a Central Industrial Security Force inspector, and together they have two sons.

Also Read – Gita Gopinath Education & Success Story

P.T. Usha’s Career

O.M. Nambiar, the athletics coach, first noticed P.T. Usha at a sports prize distribution event in 1977 and began coaching her the following year. 

  • She quickly succeeded after securing six medals at the inter-state junior meet in Kollam in 1978.
  • Her most memorable achievement was at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, where she won six medals at the Asian Championships in Jakarta in 1985—five gold and one bronze. 
  • Between 1983 and 1989, P.T. Usha won 13 gold medals in Athletics Track and Field competitions. She also won four gold medals and one silver at the 10th Asian Games in Seoul, South Korea, in 1986.
Credits: The Times of India
  • PT Usha was chosen as the president of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) in 2022 at the age of 58. 
  • She became the first female president of the IOA in its 95-year history and the inaugural Olympian to hold this position. 
  • Currently, P.T. Usha serves on the Board of Advisors for India’s International Movement to the UN (I.I.M.U.N.).

Records of P.T. Usha

Here is a list of all the records of PT Usha – 

19805th (heats)Olympic GamesMoscow, Russia100 m
19822ndAsian GamesNew Delhi, India100 m
2nd200 m
19832ndAsian ChampionshipsKuwait City, Kuwait200 m
1st400 m
19844thOlympic GamesLos Angeles, USA400 m hurdles
7th4 × 400 m relay
19851stAsian ChampionshipsJakarta, Indonesia100 m
1st200 m
1st400 m
1st400 m hurdles
3rd4 × 100 m relay
1st4 x 400 m relay
7thWorld CupCanberra, Australia400 m
5th400 m hurdles
8th4 x 400 m relay
19862ndAsian GamesSeoul, South Korea100 m
1st200 m
1st400 m
1st400 m hurdles
1st4 x 400 m relay
19872ndAsian ChampionshipsSingapore100 m
1st400 m
1st400 m hurdles
2nd4 x 100 m relay
1st4 x 400 m relay
DNSWorld ChampionshipsRome, Italy400 m
6th (semifinal)400 m hurdles
8th (heats)4 x 400 m relay
19887th (heats)Olympic GamesSeoul, South Korea400-m hurdles
19892ndAsian ChampionshipsNew Delhi, India100 m
1st200 m
1st400 m
1st400 m hurdles
2nd4 x 100 m relay
1st4 x 400 m relay
19904thAsian GamesBeijing, China200 m
2nd400 m
2nd4 x 100 m relay
2nd4 x 400 m relay
19944thAsian GamesHiroshima, Japan200 m
5th4 x 100 relay
2nd4 x 400 m relay
19983rdAsian ChampionshipsFukuoka, Japan200 m
3rd400 m
1st4 x 100 m relay
2nd4 x 400 m relay
6thAsian GamesBangkok, Thailand400 m
4th4 x 100 m relay

On the 6th of July, 2022, the Indian government selected celebrated sportsperson Usha for the Rajya Sabha.  Since stepping down from competitive sports in 2000, P.T. Usha and her pupils from the Usha School of Athletics in Kinalur, located in the state of Kerala’s Kozhikode, have consistently participated in national athletics events.

The 400-metre hurdles event at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles remains Usha’s most memorable and bittersweet moment. Although she narrowly missed out on the bronze medal by just 1/100th of a second.

Also Read – Meet Samir Banerjee, the New Wimbledon Junior Champion

Awards and Honours of P.T. Usha

Here is a list of Awards and Honours by PT Usha – 

Awards and HonoursYear
Arjuna Award1983
Padma Shri1985
Honorary Doctorate (D.Litt.) conferred by Kannur University2000
Honorary Doctorate (D.Sc.) conferred by IIT Kanpur2017
Honorary Doctorate (D.Litt.) conferred by the University of Calicut2018
IAAF Veteran Pin2019


How many Olympics did PT Usha participate in?

She has participated in three Olympic Games – 1980, 1984 and 1988.

Who called the Golden Girl?

Pilavullakandi Thekke parampil Usha aka PT Usha

Who is the golden boy in India?

Neeraj Chopra

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Hope you got to know about the inspirational woman P.T. Usha. For more related articles you can visit our page of famous personalities.

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