‘Dharun Ayyasamy was confident before Asian Games’

TIRUPUR: Dharun Ayyasamy was very confident that he would win a medal in , his mother K Poongodi said after the athlete clinched silver medal in 400m hurdles in Jakarta on Monday.
“He was worried after missing chances in held in Australia this April. He had just recovered from an injury. But this time, he felt that he was fit and won a medal,” Poongodi told TOI.

While speaking to media in Jakarta, Dharun, 21, owed his silver medal to his widowed mother. Poongodi, who is yet to speak to her son, said she was over the moon after watching him clocking 48.96 seconds, the new national record.

“I along with others including my daughter was in front of TV at 5.15pm, 15 minutes before the 400m hurdles final. We were ecstatic after he won the medal. After which, my mobile phone hardly stopped ringing as wishes from relatives and friends poured in,” she said.

Hailing from Ravuthampalayam village near Avinashi, the 46-year-old is working in a private school, where Dharun did his schooling till class X. She has strived hard with marginal salary (now she earns Rs 14,000) to raise her two children.

Like many parents, Poongodi was also discouraged by other people. Poongodi said, “I ignored them and supported Dharun right from Class VI, when he had showed interest in athletics. But after he started winning medals in junior meets, people’s perception changed. I always wanted him to shine in any field. He chose sports and started going places.”

She said, “Dharun was lucky as two schools including one where he completed Class XI and Class XII had supported him excellently. Especially, his childhood coach Sakthi, personal coach J Alagesan, and former national athletics coach Kunhi Mohammed.”

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