PT Usha
PT UshaPTI

I never thought I would become IOA president: PT Usha

Usha, 58, was officially elected for the top post during the polls, heralding in a new chapter in Indian sports administration.

NEW DELHI: “I never thought I would one day become IOA president,” track and field legend PT Usha said after she was elected as the first woman head of the Indian Olympic Association on Saturday.

Usha, 58, was officially elected for the top post during the polls, heralding in a new chapter in Indian sports administration.

“In my whole life I had lived just 13 years without sports. Otherwise, I have been living with sports, as an athlete, coach and administrator in different roles,” she said while addressing a press conference after her elevation to the top job.

“I had never thought that I would one day become IOA chief or member of Parliament. This is all because of my sport,” she said with her entire executive council members by her side.

Usha took to athletics at a young age of nine while she was studying in class four at a school at Payyoli near her native village in Kozhikode district of Kerala. What followed was a stellar career during which she won multiple Asian Games gold medals and achieved a fourth-place finish in the 1984 Olympics 400m hurdles final.

She announced her retirement in 1990, got married and returned to the tracks again in 1994 before finally quitting athletics in 2000.

After 2000, she remained associated with athletics as mentor to promising athletes.

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