PT Usha’s coach O.M Nambiar passes away at 89

O.M Nambiar, the man who has given India PT Usha has passed away on Thursday at the age of 89.

O.M Nambiar was one of the first Dronacharya Award winners and earlier this year was a Padma Shri awardee (country’s highest civilian honour). He had been hospitalized just about a week back as he was reported to have been battling Parkinson’s disease while suffering a heart attack 10 days ago.

Nambiar, a champion of his college days named Guruvayurappan college in Kozhikode was born in 1939 in Kannur. Later he joined the Indian Air Force where he served 15 years starting from 1955 to 1970 and represent service in sports meets. His trainees during the initial stages were from services after he completed his coaching diploma from Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports in Punjab.

Coach Nambiar is known to have given India PT Usha. The coach-athlete relationship took off during the late 1970s and had continued until Usha had retired.

“Nambiar sir was my coach and I think I was probably one of the first athletes to have a personal coach. Those days, having a personal coach was very rare. And he was always proud about wearing the Indian jersey. I will miss him very much” said PT Usha to Sportstar.

Between 1983 and 1998, Pt Usha went on to become one of the biggest names from Asia in athletics. During this time she won 23 medals at the Asian Championships which included 14 gold and 6 silver.

During the Asian meet in Jakarta, she claimed 5 gold and a single bronze which is a sort of a record in a single meet. A year later she set a record for an Indian athlete at the Seoul Asian Games after winning 4 gold and 1 silver medal.

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