Empress of track and field PT Usha flashes a victory sign at Birsa Munda Athletics Stadium in Ranchi on Friday.
Long before Chennai Express chugged in, there was Payyoli Express, another name for Usha, born in Payyoli village, Kerala.
Winner of over a hundred international medals, the Padma Shri and Arjuna awardee strode in with raised eyebrows at the stadium, taking in broken false ceiling and chairs. “Thoda maintain hona tha,” she said in heavily accented Hindi.
Usha was in the capital for the 53rd National Open Athletics Championship.
On International Olympic Committee’s hard stand on Indian Olympic Association and its tainted officials, the legend only said “sincere efforts are needed to convince the world about India’s potential”.
Text by ASRP Mukesh, Picture by Hardeep Singh