The 'Payyoli Express' turns 60 today!
P.T Usha was born on 27th June 1964 in Koothali near Perambra in Kerala's Kozhikode district.
In 1977, coach O.M. Nambiar spotted a young Usha. "What impressed me at first sight about Usha was her lean shape and fast walking style. I knew she could become a very good sprinter," he had said.
Under Nambiar's guidance, Usha made rapid strides. She excelled at the 100m, 200m, high-jump and long-jump at junior meets.
After winning medals at the 1979 National Games and 1980 National inter-state meets, Usha was all set for overseas competition.
At the 1984 Los Angeles, Usha clocked 55.42s in the women’s 400m hurdles but missed the bronze medal by just 1/100th of a second.
Usha dominated the Asian athletics circuit from 1982 to 1998, winning a whopping 23 medals (14 gold, six silver and three bronze).
Post-retirement, she founded the 'Usha School of Athletics' in 2000. In 2022, she was nominated as a Member of Parliament to the Rajya Sabha.
Usha has since been inducted into the IAAF Hall of Fame and the Asian Athletics Hall of Fame. In 2022, she was elected President of the Indian Olympic Association.
As a legend of track and field sports, P.T Usha's impact on Indian athletics will stand the test of time.