P.T. Usha's son Vignesh 'getting back' to sport in his own way

P.T. Usha's son, Vignesh Ujjwal, gained an International Olympic Committee diploma in sports medicine with distinction a few days ago.

Vignesh Ujjwal with his parents P.T. Usha and V. Sreenivasan.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT


Hockey legend Dhyan Chand's son Ashok Kumar picked up his dad's sport and won an Olympic bronze in Munich in 1972. And athletics great Milkha Singh's son, Jeev, went on to become one of India's finest golfers.

Many years ago, when P.T. Usha saw her little son Vignesh Ujjwal running around with a nice spring, she felt that he would turn out to be a good athlete. Ujjwal showed early promise, winning 100 and 200m golds in school, but he was never serious about track and field.

“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,” revealed Usha in a chat with Sportstar.

Not proper to push children

There is an important advice for parents here. Despite being one of the India's greatest athletes, Usha felt that pushing her son into her sport was not proper.

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“But he showed that he could be good at football when he joined medical college, he was a striker. Only then, we realised how much he loved the game,” revealed Usha.

Ujjwal is 27 now, he's a doctor too and it's clear that he will not reach the highs his mother did when she ruled Asia in the eighties and came very close to an Olympic medal in 1984 in Los Angeles.

But the young man is slowly getting back to sport in his own little way.

A few days ago, Ujjwal gained an International Olympic Committee diploma in sports medicine with distinction. The two-year online course, run by the IOC's Medical Commission and which includes lectures in electronic format, could see him studying athletes closely in the near future.

“Sports medicine is different from other branches of medicine, it's very vast and it's something I'm very interested in,” said Ujjwal. “And opportunities are vast, you can join a club as its doctor or physiotherapist or you can go abroad. Or you can always do research.”

Ujjwal grew up with people frequently hailing Usha's achievements and he found it “overwhelming”. His mother and her trainees will be a classic case to study as he goes forward in his new line.

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