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P. T. Usha

P. T. Usha
Usha in New Delhi, February 27, 2009
Personal information
Birth namePilavullakandi Thekkeparambil Usha[1]
Nickname(s)Golden Girl, Payyoli Express[2]
Born (1964-06-27) 27 June 1964 (age 59)
Koothali, Perambra Kerala, India[3]
Years active1976–2000[4]
EmployerIndian Railways
Height171 cm (5 ft 7 in)
SpouseV. Srinivasan
13th President of the Indian Olympic Association
Assumed office
10 December 2022[5]
Preceded byAdille Sumariwalla (interim)
Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha
Assumed office
7 July 2022
Nominated byRam Nath Kovind
ConstituencyNominated (Sports)
SportTrack and field
Achievements and titles
Personal bests100 m: 11.39 (Jakarta 1985)
200 m: 23.05 (Lucknow 1999)
400 m: 51.61 (Canberra 1985)
400 m hurdles: 55.42 NR
(Los Angeles 1984)
Medal record
Women's athletics
Representing  India

1984 Los Angeles Olympics (4th place in 400m Hurdles)

Asian Games
Gold medal – first place 1986 Seoul 200 m
Gold medal – first place 1986 Seoul 400 m
Gold medal – first place 1986 Seoul 400 m hurdles
Gold medal – first place 1986 Seoul 4x400 m relay
Silver medal – second place 1982 New Delhi 100 m
Silver medal – second place 1982 New Delhi 200 m
Silver medal – second place 1986 Seoul 100 m
Silver medal – second place 1990 Beijing 400 m
Silver medal – second place 1990 Beijing 4x100 m relay
Silver medal – second place 1990 Beijing 4x400 m relay
Silver medal – second place 1994 Hiroshima 4x400 m relay
Asian Championships
Gold medal – first place 1983 Kuwait City 400m
Gold medal – first place 1985 Jakarta 100m
Gold medal – first place 1985 Jakarta 200m
Gold medal – first place 1985 Jakarta 400m
Gold medal – first place 1985 Jakarta 400m hurdles
Gold medal – first place 1985 Jakarta 4×400m Relay
Gold medal – first place 1987 Singapore 400m
Gold medal – first place 1987 Singapore 400m hurdles
Gold medal – first place 1987 Singapore 4×400m Relay
Gold medal – first place 1989 New Delhi 200m
Gold medal – first place 1989 New Delhi 400m
Gold medal – first place 1989 New Delhi 400m hurdles
Gold medal – first place 1989 New Delhi 4×400m Relay
Gold medal – first place 1998 Fukuoka 4×100m Relay
Silver medal – second place 1983 Kuwait 200m
Silver medal – second place 1987 Singapore 100m
Silver medal – second place 1987 Singapore 4×100m Relay
Silver medal – second place 1989 New Delhi 100m
Silver medal – second place 1989 New Delhi 200m
Silver medal – second place 1998 Fukuoka 4×400m Relay
Bronze medal – third place 1985 Jakarta 4×100m Relay
Bronze medal – third place 1998 Fukuoka 200m
Bronze medal – third place 1998 Fukuoka 400m

Pilavullakandi Thekkeparambil Usha (born 27 June 1964) is an Indian sports administrator and retired track and field athlete. Usha was born in Koothali near Perambra in Kozhikode district, Kerala. She grew up in Payyoli. Usha has been associated with Indian athletics since 1979.[6] She has won 4 gold medals and 7 silver medals in the Asian Games. She is often associated as the "Queen of Indian track and field".[7]

On 6 July 2022, she was nominated as a Member of Parliament to the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian Parliament, by former President of India Ram Nath Kovind.[8] In December 2022, Usha was elected president of the Indian Olympic Association unopposed.[9] In December 2022, she was appointed to the panel of Rajya Sabha vice chairman to control the proceedings of the upper house during the absence of both Chairman and Deputy Chairman.[10] She is the first nominated MP in history to become the Vice Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha.[11]

Track and field career

Pilavullakandi Thekkeparambil Usha was first noticed in 1977 by O. M. Nambiar, an Indian athletics coach, at a sports prize-distribution ceremony.[12] In an interview with in 2000, he recalled: "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."[13] The same year, he began coaching her. Quick results followed when she won six medals at the inter-state meet for juniors, in Kollam in 1978, with four gold medals in 100 m, 200 m, 60 m hurdles and high jump, silver in long jump and bronze in 4 x 100 m relay.[14] In the year's Kerala State college meet, she won 14 medals.[13] She went on to win multiple medals at the 1979 National Games and 1980 National inter-state meet setting many meet records.[15] She participated in her first international event at the Qaid-e-Azam invitation meet in Karachi, Pakistan, in 1980, where she won four gold medals.[16]

At the senior inter-country meeting in Bangalore in 1981, Usha clocked 11.6 seconds in the 100 m and 24.8 seconds in the 200 m setting national records in both.[14] At the 1982 New Delhi Asian Games, she won silver medals in 100 m and 200 m, clocking 11.95 s and 25.32 s. At the 1983 Open National Championships in Jamshedpur, she broke the 200 m national record again clocking 23.9 s, and with 53.6 s, set a new national record in 400 m.[14] At the Asian Championships in Kuwait City the same year, she won gold in 400 m.[17]

1984 Los Angeles Olympics

Usha's best moment came at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. She entered on the back of a string of good performances at the year's New Delhi inter-state meet and Mumbai Open National Championships. However, poor performances in 100m and 200m at the Moscow World Championships prompted her to concentrate on the 400 m hurdles. At the Olympic trials in Delhi, she beat Asian Champion M. D. Valsamma to qualify for the Games.[2] At another pre-Olympic trials, she clocked 55.7 seconds beating American top sprinter Judi Brown.[18] At the Games, she clocked 56.81 s in the heats and 55.94 s in the semi-final, setting a new Commonwealth record as she entered the final. At the final, she came fourth, at 55.42 seconds, falling behind the eventual bronze medalist by 1/100th of a second. This followed after one of her competitors had a false start, which was said to have "broken her rhythm" as "she got off the blocks a bit slower at the restart."[19]

In the 1985 Jakarta Asian Championships, Usha won six medals — five gold and one bronze. She won the 100 m in 11.64, 200 m in 23.005, 400 m in 52.52, an Asian record, and 400 m hurdles in 56.64, with the final two coming in a span of 35 minutes.[17] Her fifth gold came in 4 x 400 m relay, and a final bronze in 4 x 100 m. She set a record in the process for most gold medals won at a single event in the history of the championships.[17] In the first two of her wins, she equalled the Asian record held by Chi Cheng of Taiwan. She went on to better her personal best in 400 m a week later at the 1985 Canberra World Cup, when she clocked 51.61, finishing seventh.[17] She almost replicated her Jakarta Championships performance at the 1986 Seoul Asian Games. She won the 100 metres silver with a time of 11.67 seconds losing the gold to Lydia de Vega. The 200 metres gold came in 23.44, 400 metres gold in 52.16 and 4 x 400 m relay gold in 3:34.58, all of which were new Games records.[20][14] At the Games, British athletics coach Jim Alford said of her, "Usha is a first class athlete, a tough competitor and a terrific runner to watch. She has all the potential. Given careful guidance, she can be world class."[20]

I never wanted to be an Olympian. All I wanted was to keep breaking my own record. I never competed to defeat anybody. —P. T. Usha[21]

Later stage

From 1983–89, Usha garnered 13 golds at ATF meets.[22] In the 10th Asian Games held at Seoul in 1986, Usha won 4 gold medals and 1 silver medal in the track and field events.[22] She also won five gold medals at the 6th Asian Track and Field Championship in Jakarta in 1985. Her medals at the same meet is a record for a single athlete in a single international meet.[23]

Currently she is committee head of Indian Talent organization which conducts the National Level Indian Talent Olympiad examinations in schools across India.[24] Usha retired from her active sports career in 2000.[25]

Sports administration and political career


In July 2022, Usha was nominated by President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, as a Member of Parliament (MP) of the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian Parliament.[26] In December 2022, She was appointed as one of the vice-chairpersons of the Rajya Sabha and become the first nominated MP to be in the Vice Chairperson panel.[11]

Sports administration

Since retiring from her sports career in 2000, Usha had given no inclination of entering sports administration, however, in December 2022, she was elected as the president of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) in an election where she ran unopposed.[27][25] She also became the first woman to be elected president of the IOA.[27]


Usha represented India in 4 x 100 metres relay together with Valdivel Jayalakshmi, Rachita Mistry, and E.B. Shyla at the 1998 Asian Championships in Athletics, where her team won the gold medal, setting a national record of 44.43 s.[28][29]

Personal life

Usha studied in Providence Women's College in Kozhikode.

Usha married V. Srinivasan, an English inspector with Central Industrial Security Force, in 1991. The couple has a son,[30] Dr. Vignesh Ujjwal.


Currently, she is a member of the Board of Advisors of India's International Movement to Unite Nations (I.I.M.U.N.).[31]

Awards and honours


International competitions

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
1980 Olympic Games Moscow, Russia 5th (heats) 100 metres 12.27
1982 Asian Games New Delhi, India 2nd 100 metres 11.67
2nd 200 metres 24.32
1983 Asian Championships Kuwait City, Kuwait 2nd 200 metres 24.68
1st 400 metres 54.20
1984 Olympic Games Los Angeles, USA 4th 400 metres hurdles 55.42 AR
7th 4 × 400 m relay 3:32.49
1985 Asian Championships Jakarta, Indonesia 1st 100 metres 11.64 AR
1st 200 metres 23.05 AR
1st 400 metres 52.62 AR
1st 400 metres hurdles 56.64
3rd 4 × 100 m relay 45.22
1st 4 x 400 m relay 3:34.10
World Cup Canberra, Australia 7th 400 metres 51.61 AR
5th 400 metres hurdles 56.35
8th 4 x 400 m relay 3:37.59
1986 Asian Games Seoul, South Korea 2nd 100 metres 11.67
1st 200 metres 23.44 GR
1st 400 metres 52.16 GR
1st 400 metres hurdles 56.06 GR
1st 4 x 400 m relay 3:34.58 GR
1987 Asian Championships Singapore 2nd 100 metres 11.74
1st 400 metres 52.31
1st 400 metres hurdles 56.48
2nd 4 x 100 m relay 45.49
1st 4 x 400 m relay 3:34.50
World Championships Rome, Italy DNS[N 1] 400 metres
6th (semifinal) 400 metres hurdles 55.89
8th (heats) 4 x 400 m relay 3:31.55
1988 Olympic Games Seoul, South Korea 7th (heats) 400 metre hurdles 59.55
1989 Asian Championships New Delhi, India 2nd 100 metres 11.74
1st 200 metres 23.27
1st 400 metres 51.90
1st 400 metres hurdles 56.14
2nd 4 x 100 m relay 44.87
1st 4 x 400 m relay 3:32.95
1990 Asian Games Beijing, China 4th 200 metres 24.29
2nd 400 metres 52.86
2nd 4 x 100 m relay 44.99
2nd 4 x 400 m relay 3:38.45
1994 Asian Games Hiroshima, Japan 4th 200 metres 24.29
5th 4 x 100 relay
2nd 4 x 400 m relay 3:33.34
1996 Olympic Games Atlanta, USA DSQ[N 2] 4 x 400 m relay
1998 Asian Championships Fukuoka, Japan 3rd 200 metres 23.27
3rd 400 metres 52.55
1st 4 x 100 m relay 44.43
2nd 4 x 400 m relay 3:34.04
Asian Games Bangkok, Thailand 6th 400 metres 54.37
4th 4 x 100 m relay 44.77

See also

Further reading

  • Gupta, Indra (2003). India's 50 Most Illustrious Women. Icon Publications. ISBN 8188086037.


  1. ^ P. T. Usha did not start (DNS) in the heats.
  2. ^ P. T. Usha was a reserve member of the team which was disqualified (DSQ).


  1. ^ P. T. USHA Personal Profile at
  2. ^ a b Rayan, Stan (1 May 2011). "She set the track ablaze". The Hindu. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
  3. ^ Nadar, A Ganesh (22 August 1998). "I'm unstoppable now!". Archived from the original on 16 November 2001. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  4. ^ "Indian Track Star P.T. Usha Hangs Up Her Spikes". International Association of Athletics Federations. 25 July 2000. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
  5. ^ "PT Usha officially elected as Indian Olympic Association president, first woman to take up the role". 10 December 2022. Retrieved 10 December 2022.
  6. ^ India Best21 (23 June 2016). "List of India's best Sportspeople". IndiaBest21. Archived from the original on 16 August 2017. Retrieved 30 June 2016.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  7. ^ Usha School of Athletics: A giant stride forward Archived 1 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Bhandari, Shashwat (6 July 2022). "Celebrated athlete PT Usha, Philanthropist Veerendra Heggade among 4 nominated for Rajya Sabha". Retrieved 6 July 2022.
  9. ^ "PT Usha elected unopposed; becomes first woman IOA President". 10 December 2022.
  10. ^ PTI (20 July 2023). "Jagdeep Dhankhar reconstitutes Rajya Sabha panel of vice-chairpersons; half of them women". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 28 March 2024.
  11. ^ a b Joy, Shemin (20 December 2022). "PT Usha becomes first nominated MP to be in Rajya Sabha Vice Chairperson panel". Deccan Herald. Retrieved 28 March 2024.
  12. ^ "Padma Shri for OM Nambiar: The guiding force behind the 'Payyoli Express'". Retrieved 11 August 2021.
  13. ^ a b Iype, George (11 September 2000). "If I am wellknown today, it is all because of Usha". Retrieved 13 February 2017.
  14. ^ a b c d "P. T. Usha: Factfile". 11 September 2000. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
  15. ^ "Golden Girl PT Usha turns 56: Interesting facts about the queen of Indian track on her birthday". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 11 August 2021.
  16. ^ Mohan, K. P. (August 2000). "USHA FACTFILE". Sportstar. Archived from the original on 18 August 2000. Retrieved 15 March 2024.
  17. ^ a b c d "P.T. Usha: The gold rush". India Today. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
  18. ^ "PT Usha: A story of porridge, pickles and an Olympic heartbreak". IOC. 7 August 2020.
  19. ^ "Olympics moments: PT Usha misses bronze by a whisker". Daily News and Analysis. 21 May 2012. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
  20. ^ a b Bobb, Dilip (31 October 1986). "The golden girl". India Today. Retrieved 14 February 2017.
  21. ^ "I never wanted to be an Olympian: P. T. Usha". India Today. 11 September 2000. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  22. ^ a b "'PAYYOLI EXPRESS' – PT USHA « Athletics Federation of India". Athletics Federation of India. Retrieved 11 August 2021.
  23. ^ "No. 12: PT Usha's gold rush at the 1986 Seoul Asiad". Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  24. ^ "Committee Head".
  25. ^ a b PTI (10 December 2022). "PT Usha: A trailblazer in the true sense". The Economic Times. ISSN 0013-0389. Retrieved 28 March 2024.
  26. ^ FP Explainers (7 July 2022). "PT Usha, Ilaiyaraaja nominated to Rajya Sabha: Why celebrities are picked and how they have fared?". Firstpost. Retrieved 28 March 2024.
  27. ^ a b Mukherjee, Saurav, ed. (10 December 2022). "Legendary athlete PT Usha elected as first woman president of IOA". Mint. Retrieved 28 March 2024.
  28. ^ Vijaykumar, C.N.R (15 December 1998). "After the feast, the famine". Retrieved 4 September 2009.
  29. ^ "Indian women's 4x100m relay team breaks 18-year-old national record | Sports News - Times of India". The Times of India. 18 May 2016. Retrieved 11 August 2021.
  30. ^ "P T Usha: Against all hurdles". The Times of India. 13 February 2003. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
  31. ^ "I.I.M.U.N. || Board of Advisors". Retrieved 17 July 2021.
  32. ^ "Another Doctorate for P T Usha". Facebook - Usha School of Athletics. 29 January 2018. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  33. ^ "IIT institute to confer honorary doctorate degree on PT Usha". Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  34. ^ Sharma, Dishant (13 June 2017). "IIT Kanpur to confer honorary doctorate on PT Usha". Inshorts. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  35. ^ "IIT Kanpur to confer honorary doctorate on PT Usha". Mathrubhumi. 13 June 2017. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  36. ^ "Calicut University confers D.Litt on Mohanlal, PT Usha". The Times of India. 29 January 2018. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  37. ^ "PT Usha conferred with IAAF Veteran Pin Award". The New Indian Express. 25 September 2019. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
Civic offices Preceded byAdille Sumariwalla President of Indian Olympic Association 2022–present Incumbent
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P. T. Usha
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