When compared to the Olympics in the 20th century, the performance of India at the Summer Games in the 21st century has been much improved. However, none of the medals that India won in those 2 previous Olympics was achieved in the track and field category.
In spite of that fact, there’s no doubt that India has definitely had some great track and field athletes that have done very well in other big sports events in the world. Here’s a list of top Indian track and field athletes of all time.
- PT Usha
PT Usha was first spotted in 1979 by Coach O.M. Nambiar, who saw her take part in the National School Games and then took her under his wing. However, after he didn’t succeed in making an impact at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, the Kerala-born female athlete came into her own at the subsequent games.
She first succeeded at the 1982 Asian Games, which was held in New Delhi, with a silver medal in the 100m and 200m tournament and one year later, she won her first Gold medal in the 400m at the Asian Track and Field Championships in Kuwait in and also created a new Asian record.
The following year, as participating in her second Olympic Games in Los Angeles, she finished her first 400m hurdles semifinals, but unfortunately, she missed out on an Olympic medal just by 1/100th of a second to finish the fourth in the finals.
At the 1985Asian Track and Field Championships held in Jakarta, Indonesia, Usha won an exceptional six Gold medals. That is a world record for the most medals won by an athlete in a single international sports event.
Then, at the 1986 Asian Games in Seoul, she won four Gold medals and also clinched a Silver medal in the 100m.
In 1991, following her marriage, Usha took a 2-year break from athletics and returned to action in 1993. At the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, she was part of the 4x400m team but didn’t compete. Then, in 1998, she was part of the 4x400m team, which won Gold at the Asian Championships and also set the current national record of 44.43 seconds.