(Last Updated on : 11/12/2010)
Manathoor Devasia Valsamma was born 29th October in the year1960. This Indian athlete was the third Indian woman who won the Gold medal at the Asian Games Valsamma who was nicknamed "Valsu", was born at Ottathai in Kannur
district of Kerala
. Her athletics career geared up during her school days. When she moved to Mercy College, Palakkad, for further studies, she took athletics more gravely. Her first medal came in the year 1979 and it was for Kerala in the 100 metres hurdles at the Inter-University Championship.
Afterward when she got a job in the Southern Railway, she came under the coaching of A. K. Kutty. At the Inter-State Meet held at Bangalore
in the year 1981, a record and a great impression was created by her. She won five Gold Medals, in the hurdles over 100 and 400 metres in addition to the 400 metres flat and the 400m and 100m relays. In the year 1982, she became the national champion over 400-metre hurdles with a new record. The record undoughtedly was a better one than the Asian record.
In an Indian and Asian record time of 58.47 seconds, Valsamma fetched the Gold medal in the 400m hurdles at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in the 1982 Asian Games. The victory of her was being eyewitnessed by the home crowd of her native country India. After Kamaljit Sandhu (400 metres-1974) and Geeta Zutshi (800 metres-1978) the successful ending of a contest made her the third woman athlete to win an Asian Games gold for India. Later she was envisioned in a silver medal winning 4 X 400 metres relay team. Indian Government in the year 1982, conferred the prestigious the Arjuna Award
in recognition of her contribution in the field of athletics. In the year 1983, the Padma Shri was given to her and the G. V. Raja cash award was also conferred, from the Kerala Government.
Valsamma began cogitating more on 100m hurdles, after being extinguished early in the 400m hurdles in the Los Angeles Olympics. In the first National Games held in the year 1985, she won a gold in the 100m hurdles and a silver in 400m hurdles. In the Malaysian Open she won a silver in the quarter-mile and in the Asian Track & Field Meet held at Delhi, she won gold and silver in 4 x 400 metres 4 x 100 metres relay.
In the Spartakiad 1983 in Moscow and in the South Asian Federation (SAF) Games held in Islamabad, Valsamma also appeared in both the occasion. She won a bronze in the 100 metres, a Silver in the quarter-mile and the Gold m the 4 x 400 metres relay in these championships. She won silver medals in the 4 x 100 and the 4 x 400 metres relay races in the Beijing Asian Games. In World Cup meets in Havana, Tokyo, London, the Asian Games editions of 1982, 86, 90 and 94 and in all the Asian Track & Field meets and SAF Games, Valsamma took part and in each and every competition Valsamma left her mark.