On the day her coach, OM Nambiar was named within the checklist of Padma Shri awardees, PT Usha known as him a ‘mentor’ and ‘father figure’ who took her from obscurity and helped her shine on the most important sporting arenas around the globe, together with the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. As it occurred, on Monday Usha had known as on ‘Nambiar sir’, now 89, and had tea with him at his dwelling in Payyoli.
“We had gone for the engagement of my husband’s niece. It took place close to Nambiar sir’s house. So, I dropped in. He insisted that I have a cup of tea. I sat with him for a while and he was happy. He is old now and does not step out of his home too much. But whenever I meet him, I relive a lot of memories. It is only after we reached home that we heard the news that he is a Padma Shri,” Usha stated.
From 1977 to 1990, Usha was coached solely by Nambiar. It was he who requested Usha to deal with the 400 metres hurdles forward of the Los Angeles Olympics, the place she missed out on a medal by one-hundredth of a second. Nambiar’s determination to modify to hurdles got here after Usha had received the gold within the 400 metres on the Asian Track and Field meet in Kuwait.
“Nambiar sir instilled confidence in me that I could be the best in the world. Looking back, we didn’t have great facilities or diet but the sheer will of Nambiar sir and his passion helped me win multiple medals for India. I am happy he is being recognised with the Padma Shri award but I believe he should have got it much earlier,” Usha stated.
When PT Usha received 5 gold medals and a bronze on the Asian Athletics Championships in Jakarta in 1985, she didn’t have a physio or masseur by her aspect. Coach Nambiar multi-tasked and made certain she was match to run 11 races, together with the heats, in simply 5 days.
“Without Nambiar sir, I would not have been able to achieve what I did for the country. I was lucky he mentored and coached me for so many years. From almost nothing, he helped me achieve greatness.”
List of awardees
P Anitha: A former India basketball captain, Anitha has represented the nationwide crew for near twenty years. She additionally holds the file for being the one lady to play for India at 9 Asian Championships.
Mouma Das: The desk tennis participant acquired the Arjuna Award in 2013. A two-time Olympian, Das has received a number of Commonwealth Games medals, together with crew gold on the 2018 version.
Anshu Jamsenpa: She is considered the primary lady on the earth to scale Mt Everest twice in 5 days. She can be the primary Indian lady to scale the best peak on the earth 5 occasions.
Sudha Singh: A nationwide file holder within the 3,000m steeplechase, Sudha has a number of continental medals to her identify, together with an Asian Games gold. She additionally represented India on the 2012 and 2016 Olympics.
Virender Singh: The freestyle wrestler has received three gold and a bronze medal on the Deaflympics in 4 appearances He acquired the Arjuna Award in 2015 for his achievements.
KY Venkatesh: Winner of a number of medals at numerous worldwide para-sports occasions, together with the World Dwarf Games.
Madhavan Nambiar: The 89-year-old was the long-time coach of PT Usha, who completed fourth within the 400 metre hurdles on the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, and received a number of medals on the Asian Games.