Chennai, Aug 8 : Dhanalakshmi Sekhar, who was a member of the Indian mixed relay team of 4×400 m at the Tokyo Olympics, was inconsolable on her return to her native Tiruchirappalli as she came to know of the passing away of her sister due to illness.
Dhanalakshmi Sekhar, who was a reserve member of the team, was not informed of her sister’s demise following an illness as her family wanted her to focus on the event.
It was only on reaching Tiruchirappalli, along with her teammate Shubha Venkataraman, that she was informed and broke down, kneeling on her knees and with her face cupped in her hands, on knowing about her sister who had been a huge support in her career.
Dhanalakshmi had put up a sensational performance at the National Institute of Sports (NIS), Patiala beating P.T. Usha’s record in the 200 m heats and had also won the gold against Dutee Chand in 100m.
In 100m, she had won gold with a timing of 11.39 seconds, and in 200m, she set a new record with a timing of 23.26 seconds, breaking Usha’s record of 23.30 seconds set 23 years ago.
Dhanalakshmi Sekhar was a kho-kho player in the early days and a physical education teacher in school suggested she switch to sprint and she trained under Indian railway athlete, Manikanda Arumugam.
The sprinter had lost her father Sekhar early in her life and it was her mother Usha, a farmer, who raised her.