Usha- The golden girl
Usha’s athletic achievements are well-known to almost all Indians. She got two silver medals in the 1982 New Delhi Asian games. She was placed fourth in the 400 meter running race at the 1984 Olympics at Los Angeles in the United States. She was declared the best woman athlete at the 1985 Jakarta Asian Meet. She received four gold medals and one silver medal at the 1986 Asian Games in Seoul.
Usha’s story is that of a gifted child from humble origins. She achieved international success through hard work. She always performed better than the other –athletes.
Usha was born as her mother’s ancestral house at Keothali, in Kerala, 20th
May 1964. Usha was caught young by her physical education teacher Mr. Balakrishnan when she was in class four. He made one of the greatest discoveries in the athletic arena of Asia and Usha; the tiny girl became famous from then onwards. It was in 1975 when Usha was just 11 years old, that she took part in the sub- junior category at the District meet. Just three days before the meet, Usha badly injured her heel and yet she won a number of events. She was declared the individual champion at the meet!
Just then the government of Kerala started a separate sports school at Cannanore, with special facilities for sports in addition to regular studies. It was at Cannanore that Madhavan Nambiar met Usha. He became her coach. He took care of her like a father. In the early days neither Nambiar nor Usha thought that she would reach the pinnacle of glory in sports. India had never seen a woman athlete of Usha’s caliber.
A professor of England in Usha’s home town said, `` India has not seen a girl from a small town catch the imagination of everyone as usha has’’.
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