Biopic on track queen PT Usha in the pipeline

Sprinter PT Usha retired in 2000 and runs her academy in Kerala. An Asian star of the ‘80s, she finished fourth in the 400m hurdles at 1984 LA Games.

By Utathya Nag

Indian sports fans and movie buffs may have to wait just a little longer for Olympian PT Usha's incredible journey in the form of a Bollywood biopic.

PT Usha, also dubbed the ‘queen of Indian track and field’, dominated the Asian stage in the 1980s and won four Asian Games gold medals alongside several more at the Asian Athletics Championships.

She also came fourth in the 400m hurdles at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, missing out on the bronze by just one hundredth of a second.

“My biopic would have been announced by now. We were that close to starting off, but it will have to wait for a bit,” PT Usha told Times of India, confirming that a plan to bring her life and accomplishments on the big screen is in fact in the pipeline.

Delayed but imminent

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic may have delayed an official announcement, but the 55-year-old is confident it’s only a matter of time before it goes on the floor.

“I am hoping that it will roll out towards the end of the year,” she says.

Having retired from the sport in 2000, PT Usha has been busy nurturing the future athletes of the country through her Usha School of Athletics in her home state of Kerala.

“By then, if the competitions begin, I will have less time on hand, but I will try and train the actress who will be playing me,” she stated during the interaction.

While the The Payyoli Express decided to remain tight-lipped about which actress will be portraying her in the biopics, rumours suggest Priyanka Chopra – who also played Mary Kom in the Indian boxer’s 2014 biopic - Katrina Kaif and Urvashi Rautela may be in the running.

The bilingual Hindi-English Bollywood production will reportedly be directed by Revathy S Varma.

Rich legacy of biopics on Indian athletes

If, or when, greenlit, PT Usha’s biopic will further the rich legacy of biopics based on Indian athletes, which features the likes of Mary Kom - based on the boxer’s life, Dangal - a dramatized adaptation of the journey of the Phogat family, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag – a biopic on legendary Indian runner Milkha Singh, and others.

Recently, a biopic on weightlifter Karnam Malleswari – India’s first individual female medallist at the Olympics – was also made official.