#1984LosAngelesOlympics: PT Usha reveals why she missed out on bronze
India's track superstar PT Usha recalls that during the Los Angeles Olympics of 1984, where she missed a medal by one-hundredth of a second, she was forced to eat just rice porridge with the pickle. That food without any nutrition supplement had cost her the bronze, she claims. Usha regrets that in those days only the bare facilities were available to Indian athletes.
Usha, Cojocaru crossed the finish line at almost same time
In that epic 400m hurdles final, Usha and Cristieana Cojocaru of Romania crossed the finish line at almost the same time but the latter prevailed as she went for the decisive lunge.
Rice porridge without any nutrition supplement affected my performance: Usha
"No one had told us that in LA we would get only American food. I had no choice but to eat rice porridge without any nutrition supplement, and that definitely affected my performance in the last 35m of my event since I couldn't sustain the energy level," Usha says. Usha blazed the track for 18 glorious years winning medals for India at various competitions.
Nawal Moutawakal of Morocco won gold medal in 1984
On the 1984 race, Usha says, "It was a perfect start for me. As planned, I tried to cross the first hurdles of 45m in 6.2s and kept the rhythm and maintained that level of speed and endurance. But in the last 35m, I couldn't sustain my energy at a consistent level." Nawal Moutawakal (Morocco) won the gold and Ann Louise (Sweden), the silver.
Usha runs a coaching academy called 'Usha School of Athletics'
Now the ace sprinter runs a coaching academy "Usha School of Athletics". Usha says she now wants to fulfill her dream of an Indian sprinter on the Olympic podium. "Now my life is completely focused on that goal with the start of Usha School of Athletics. The school seeks to give the budding athletes things I was denied as an athlete," she says.