Birth Anniversary of P T Usha
One of the most iconic women athletes of track and field, PT Usha was born on June 27, 1964, to a poor family living in a village named Payyoli near Calicut, Kerala. Her full name is Pilavullakandi Thekkeparambil Usha, PT Usha did not have a privileged childhood and faced many health issues and much poverty. Her incredible drive for athletics and sports soon earned the "queen of Indian track and field" the nickname of 'Payyoli Express'. Usha was associated with sports since the year 1976 when her aptitude and passion for sports led her to secure a Rs 250 scholarship from the Kerala state government and represent her district when it started a sports school for women in Cannore. In the same year, things took a major turn when athletics coach OM Nambiar noticed the girl at an award ceremony for the National School Games where Usha had participated. The coach was impressed with "her lean shape and fast walking style" as he told later in an Rediff.com interview and as he began coaching her, the rest is history. Usha never looked back in her career and even when she took a break of four years, she returned to clinch the silver medal at the Hisroshima Asiad. Her greatest regret and disappointment has to be the Los Angeles Olympics where the Golden Girl missed the Bronze by just 1/100th of a second. She has won as many as 101 international medals till now and is employed in the Southern Railways as an officer. Usha currently also runs a school for athletics at Koyilandi near Kozhikode, Kerala, where girls in the age group of 10-12 are recruited and trained. Among them was Tintu Lukka, who had qualified at the London 2012 Olympics for the women's semi-final 800m event.