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P T Usha
Pilavullakandi Thekkeparambil Usha (b. June 27, 1964), popularly known as PT Usha is an Indian athlete. Regarded as queen of Indian track and field, P.T. Usha has been associated with Indian athletics since 1979. Her initials stand for her family/house name, according to tradition in many parts of Kerala. She was also nicknamed Payyoli Express
In 1979 she participated in the National School Games, where she was noticed by O. M. Nambiar, who coached her through most of her career. At a time when 'athletics was very much a male sport in India, and track-suited women a rarity'. Her debut in the 1980 Moscow Olympics was lacklustre. In the 1982 New Delhi Asiad, she managed only silver medals in the 100 m and the 200 m, but at the Asian Track and Field Championship in Kuwait a year later, Usha took gold in the 400m with a new Asian record . Between 1983-89, Usha garnered 13 golds at ATF meets. She finished first in the semi-finals of the 400 metres hurdles in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, but faltered in the finals. In almost a repeat of Milkha Singh's 1960 feat, there was a nail-biting photo finish for the third place. Usha lost the bronze by 1/100th of a second. She became the first Indian woman (and the fifth Indian) to reach the final of an Olympic event by winning her 400 m hurdles Semi-final.