EPT is a role model for Indian women athletes. Usha. Many women have won medals for India at international sporting events, but few have made an impact like Usha. Usha also proved her authenticity by coming close to an Olympic medal. Even today, it is the best performance by an Indian woman in Olympic athletics.
Born on 27 June 1964 in Payoli Pilavullakandi Thekeparampil, Usha rose to prominence in the athletics world in the late 1970s by bagging medals in school sports festivals. He excelled in all events like 100m, 200m, hurdles, high jump and long jump. In 1979, he became the individual champion in the National School Sports Festival. He has won 14 medals in the state college meet.
He won silver in 100 and 200 meters at the 1982 Delhi Asiad. 1983 Asian Track and Field Championship held in Kuwait, gold in 400m with an Asian record. Usha’s loss of a medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics was a loss for Indian sports. Qualified for the final by clocking 56.81 seconds in the heats of the 400m hurdles and 55.54 seconds in the semis. Usha clocked 55.42 seconds in the final, missing the bronze medal by a hundredth of a second. She finished fourth in the photo finish. It was a national record. Usha holds the national record for 38 years.
In the 1985 Jakarta Asian Championship, Usha won six medals, including five gold. It was the best performance by a star in the championship till then. In 1986 Seoul Asian Games won five medals including four gold. In a career spanning from 1976 to 2000, he won 103 international medals and more than a thousand national medals.
Awarded Arjuna (1984) and Padma Shri (1985). After retiring from competition, he started the Usha School of Athletics in Kinalur, Kozhikode. Husband V. Srinivasan. Son: V. Ujwal.