It’s hard to imagine a book about Indian sports without mentioning legendary track and field athlete, Pilavullakandi Thekkeraparambil Usha, better known as PT Usha. She was born on June 27, 1964, in the Piyyoli village in Kerala’s Kozhikode district. Despite being born into a family that wasn’t financially sound, PT Usha’s success is a staple of the fact that the mixture of talent and consistent hard work holds the power of moulding the lines of destiny in one’s favour. Well, it is what PT Usha did, as she went on to win 4 Asian Gold medals and 7 silver medals. PT Usha is currently working as the President of the Indian Olympic Association.
When PT Usha lost a Bronze medal at the 1984 Olympics but won hearts
Widely known by the nicknames, Queen of Indian Track and Field and Payyoli Express, PT Usha has reportedly won a total of 101 medals in her illustrious career. However, there’s one question that people often search on Google, which is ‘Did PT Usha win an Olympic medal?’. The answer to this is a ‘No’, but there’s more to it.
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One of the biggest highlights of PT Usha’s career is when she lost the bronze medal in the 400 meters hurdle race by only a margin of 1/100th of a second at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics in Los Angeles. While it was a heartbreaking defeat for PT Usha, it was a massive moment for Indian athletics, as PT Usha’s performance pumped young athletes across the nation.
Queen of Indian track and Field, PT Usha, holds the world record for the most medals won by a female athlete in a single track event
For the unversed, PT Usha still holds the current world record for the most medals earned by a female athlete in a single track meet. The iconic athlete won four gold medals and one silver medal at the 1985 Asian Track and Field Championships.
The internet is filled with information about PT Usha’s professional life, but her personal life hardly made it to the headlines. However, some lesser-known facts about PT Usha’s life are simply unmissable. So, without further ado, let’s explore them!
PT Usha’s birth, parents, and family background
PT Usha was born into a modest family, while her father, T.V. Balakrishnan was a farmer, and her mother, T.V. Lakshmi was a homemaker. PT Usha was one of the fifth of the six children in her family. Despite facing so many financial crunches, PT Usha’s parents always encouraged their daughter to believe in her dream of becoming an athlete.
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When PT Usha’s father built a running track to support her dream
PT Usha was talented, and her passion for becoming an athlete was rightly known to her parents. This was the reason why they didn’t leave a stone unturned in providing everything they could to their little birdie. PT Usha’s father even created a running track for his daughter alone.
The father knew that he couldn’t afford to send her daughter to the academy, but he knew that his daughter’s talent was not ordinary. The running track helped PT Usha a lot in order to set the base of her athletic skills.
PT Usha’s husband, V Srinivasan
The iconic former athlete, PT Usha rarely talks about her personal life in the media, as she prefers to keep it away from the constant spotlight of the media. However, it is widely known that PT Usha is married to V Srinivasan. It was on April 25, 1991, when the couple got married.
For the unversed, PT Usha’s darling husband was once a national Kabaddi player. Not only this, V Srinivasan has also worked as an inspector at CISF (Central Industrial Security Force).
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PT Usha and V Srinivasan’s son, Vignesh V Ujjwal
The lovely couple, PT Usha and V Srinivasan has a son, Vignesh V Ujjwal. Talking about his educational background and profession. Vignesh is a sports science and management graduate from the esteemed University of Central Lancashire in the UK. After working for some years, he decided to obtain a degree in mechanical engineering. The youngster went to the University of Warwick and switched his career. As per some reports, Vignesh also co-founded a startup company, MentorKart, which deals with online coaching and mentorship for students.
However, in February 2021, an article was published on the Olympics’ official website in which it was revealed that PT Usha’s son, Vignesh V Ujjwal earned a diploma in sports medicine after he finished a two-year online course conducted by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
When former athlete, Jemma Joseph accused PT Usha of cheating and dishonesty
It was back in 2021 when former Indian athlete, Jemma Joseph filed a case against PT Usha and six other people, who used to work for a construction company. As a result, PT Usha and others were charged under the IPC Section 420 (cheating and dishonesty) by the Kozhikode Police in Kerala. It was a shocking incident and is still a big stain in PT Usha’s illustrious career.
In her complaint, Jemma Joseph revealed that she had paid Rs. 46 lakhs to the construction company to deliver her an apartment on the given date. However, when the apartment was still under construction, even after the deadline given by her, Jemma decided to take her money back from the builders. But they didn’t give back the amount, and PT Usha was also involved with the builders in this act of cheating, Jemma stated in her complaint. However, with time, the case was settled after being forwarded to the Kerala Real State Regulatory Authority.
Even after retirement, PT Usha runs a free school for athletes who want to take Indian athletics to a whole new level and can fulfil her dream of winning gold for India in the Olympics. No doubt, we need more passionate sportspersons like her in this country.
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