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


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.