Legendary athletics coach O.M. Nambiar, 89, passed away on Thursday. A Padma Shri and winner of the Dronacharya Award, Nambiar was the coach of India’s track and field legend P.T. Usha.

Besides Usha, he also coached several international medal-winning athletes – including four-time Olympian Shiny Wilson and Vandana Rao. Born in Kannur, Nambiar was a champion athlete during his college days at Guruvayurappan College in Kozhikode.

His college principal was the one who advised Nambiar to join the armed forces and continue his athletic career. He served the Indian Air Force for 15 years and retired in 1970. He completed his coaching diplomas from the National Institute of Sports in Patiala and started training the Services athletes.

India’s ace runner P.T. Usha seen along with her coach O.M. Nambiar during National Games held in Trivandrum on December 19, 1987.   –  THE HINDU ARCHIVES…

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