Thenhipalam (Malappuram): Definitely the weight of expectations should have spurred her on when P T Samridhi lined up for the 600 metre final at the Kerala State Junior Athletics Championship on Tuesday.
Determined to carry on the legacy of India's track and field legend P T Usha - her aunt - she dealt with that burden of expectation and won the gold in the U-14 event held at the Calicut University Campus stadium.
Samridhi is the daughter of Usha's younger sister P T Suma. She has been a huge fan of Usha since her childhood. Although she used to take part in school-level competitions, Samridhi started to undergo advanced training only after she joined the Usha School of Athletics, the coaching academy run by Usha and her husband Sreenivasan at Kinaloor near Payyoli.
After watching Samridhi easily beat her rivals to clinch the gold in the 600m race, Usha said she would persuade her to shift her focus to 400 metres hurdles, the discipline in which Usha missed out on the bronze medal by just one hundredth of a second at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.
Samridhi is a Class 9 student of AM HSS,Poovambayi. Her brother P T Anugrah, who is also a trainee at the Usha School of Athletics, competed in the 100 metre sprint event in the U-16 category.