PT Usha coach OM Nambiar passes away: OM Nambiar, who gave PT Usha to India, dies; Famous coach OM Nambiar, who gave PT Usha to the country, is no more
Renowned coach OM Nambiar, who gave India the best track and field star like PT Usha, passed away on Thursday due to age-related illness. He was 88 years old. Nambiar is survived by his wife Leela, three sons and a daughter. He breathed his last at his residence in Wadkara in Kozhikode district. Nambiar, who was the first coach to receive the Dronacharya award and this year’s Padma Shri award, was admitted to the hospital about a week ago.
Former Air Force Nambiar has produced a number of international players, including Usha, during his tenure as coach. Usha narrowly missed out on a bronze medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Usha had also been in close touch with her coach since last week and Chopra, who threw her brother to her, had gone to inform her that she had won a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
In addition to Usha, the players she has trained to win medals at the international level are Shiny Wilson (four-time Olympian and gold medalist in the 800 meters at the 1985 Asian Championships) and Vandana Rao. Nambiar was born in 1932 in Kannur. He later joined the Air Force in which he served for 15 years. He retired as a sergeant in 1970. He took a diploma in coaching from the National Institute of Sports Patiala and started training Army players.
After being selected for the Padma Shri, Nambiar said at his residence in Kozhikode, “I am happy to receive this award even though I should have received it long ago but I am still happy.” Then better than ever. Usha was awarded the Padma Shri in 15 in 5 while Nambiar received the Dronacharya award that year. He had to wait the next 36 years to receive the country’s fourth highest civilian honor. He had said that when Usha was deprived of a medal in Los Angeles, she kept crying. Nambiar took a coaching diploma in 1968 and joined the Kerala Sports Council in 1971. Usha won the race in a selection test in 1977 and was coached by Nambiar.
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