Renowned athletics coach O.M. Nambiar, the man who trained and guided legendary sprinter P.T. Usha to international glory, died in Kozhikode on Thursday due to age-related illness. He was 89 and is survived by his wife Leela, three sons and a daughter.
Hailing from Vadakara in Kozhikode district in Kerala, Nambiar was one of the first Dronacharya Award winners and this year's Padma Shri awardee. He was hospitalised around a week ago, after which he was brought back home.
PT Usha said Nambiar, who was battling the Parkinson's disease, had a heart attack 10 days ago. She termed it a huge personal loss.
"It's a huge loss for me. He was a father figure to me and my achievements would not have been there if he was not there. I met him only last week after Neeraj (Chopra) won gold in Olympics. He could understand what I was telling him but he could not speak," Usha told.
Besides PT Usha, some of the international medal-winning athletes he coached include Shiny Wilson (four-time Olympian and 1985 Asia Championships gold winner in 800m) and Vandana Rao.