PT Usha becomes first woman president of IOC: Career achievements
PT Usha, the legendary Indian athlete, has been elected as the president of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). The 58-year-old, who brought several laurels in track and field, filed her nomination papers on Sunday. As a result, Usha has become the first woman president of the IOA. She is the first IOA chief to have represented the country (sports) since Maharaja Yadavindra Singh.
Why does this story matter?
- Legend PT Usha, also known as the Payyoli Express, is regarded as India's best-ever track and field athlete.
- She won a silver in the 100m and 200m race in the 1982 Asian Games.
- The Padma Shri winner dominated the 1986 Asian Games with four golds and one silver medal.
- And now, she has scripted history by becoming IOA's first woman President.
When Usha missed out Olympics bronze
Known as the Queen of Indian track and field, Usha, in 1980, became the youngest sprinter to represent India at the Olympics. At the Los Angeles 1984 Olympics, she missed a medal by one-hundredth of a second. In the 400m hurdles final, Usha and Romania's Cristieana Cojocaru crossed the finish line at nearly the same time. However, the latter went for the decisive lunge.
Her exploits at the Asian Games
Usha has a phenomenal Asian Games record. At the 1986 Seoul Asian Games, she won four gold medals (200m, 400m, 400m hurdles, and 4x400m) and a silver (100m). She completed each of the four in Asian record time. Usha clinched a staggering 23 medals (14 gold) at the Asian Championships from 1983 to 1998 across 100m, 200m, 400m hurdles, 4x100m relay, and 4x400m relay.
A record five gold medals
Usha holds the world record for winning the most gold medals by a female athlete in a single track meet. She attained this feat by winning five gold medals at the Asian Track and Field Meet at Jakarta in 1985 - 100m in 11.64s, 200m in 23.05s, 400m in 52.62s, 400m hurdles in 56.64s, and 4x400m relay. The final two came within 35 minutes.
Other feats of Usha
In 1981, Usha clocked 11.8s in the 100m and 24.6s in the 200m (national records) at the senior inter-state meet in Bengaluru. At the 1983 Open National Championships in Jamshedpur, she broke the 200m national record (23.9s). In 400m, she clocked 53.6s, another new national record. At the 1983 Asian Championships, Usha won the gold medal in 400m.
First IOA chief with this feat
Usha has become the first IOA chief to have represented the country (sports) since Maharaja Yadavindra Singh. Notably, the latter played a Test match for India in 1934. However, Usha is the first sportswoman with this feat.