PT Usha's doctor son on track for sports specialism
Post retirement, the queen of Indian track-and-field, PT Usha has been involved in the world of athletics through her academy.
Now, she may soon be joined by her son, Dr Vignesh Ujjwal, trackside.
The 27-year-old Vignesh, who became a doctor in 2017, recently earned his diploma in sports medicine after completing a two-year online course conducted by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
“Sports medicine is different from other branches of medicine, it's very vast and it's something I'm very interested in,” Vignesh Ujjwal told the Sportstar in an interview.
“The opportunities are vast - I can join a club as its doctor or physiotherapist or go abroad. Or I can always do research.”
The sprinting genes were apparent during his formative years – Vignesh Ujjwal won several running medals at school – but it was not something he wanted to do professionally.
“When we made him run and conducted tests, he did very well. But he didn't show much interest in athletics then. I would have loved if he had taken up athletics but we didn't want to push him,” admitted PT Usha.
Vignesh Ujjwal did continue playing sport at some level, he played as a striker for his medical college’s football team, but then decided to put his degree to good use.
PT Usha back on track
With live sport gradually restarting amid the COVID-19 pandemic, PT Usha has also started preparing her students for the expected resumption of the Indian athletics season in September.
The legendary Indian sprinter runs the ‘Usha School of Athletics’ sporting academy in Kozhikode, Kerala to give the best possible facilities and training to budding athletes.
PT Usha, who has served as a mentor to Olympians Tintu Lukka and Dutee Chand in the past, had memorably finished fourth in the 400m hurdles at the Los Angeles 1984, missing bronze by a mere 1/100th of a second.
She may have missed out on one of her dreams, but the former Indian sprinter is working hard towards having a vicarious experience through one of her students.
“All what I aimed for, except for the Olympic medal, I achieved. I now want to ensure that one of my students wins one,” PT Usha stated in an interview.