P.T. Usha-The Golden Girl
P.T. Usha was born in 1964 in Melady, a tiny village in Kerala. She was a weak, sickly child and therefore was never expected to do anything related to ‘sports’ in particular, which required a great deal of energy
But an uncle on her mother’s side noticed Usha’s talent and made sure she joined Kerala’s Sports Training Scheme. Under the guidance of a dedicated coach, O.M. Nambiar, Usha won silver, medals in the 100 meters and 200 meters sprints at the New Delhi Asian Games in 1982.
Since then Usha won gold medals in virtually every individual event she entered in Asian women’s track and field athletics. Her greatest victory being the Seoul Asian Games in 1986 when she won gold medals in four events).
Usha narrowly missed being the only Indian woman athlete ever to win an Olympic medal, when to her great disappointment she wat- beaten to fourth place by one-hundredth-of-a-second in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics 400 meters. Hurdles event. Seoul Olympics (1988) was a tremendous disappointment for Usha and she gave up sports bidding goodbye to tracks in Beijing wherein the 1990 Asian Games; she could not win a single gold. It is said, that the Golden, girl retired without a gold medal.