The latest sensation of Indian athletics, Dhanalakshmi beats Hima Das by a comfortable margin in the 200m event at the ongoing 24th Federation Cup Senior Athletics Championships currently being held in Patiala. The 22-year-old sprinter clocked a timing of 23.26 seconds while Hima Das finished second with 24.39. Simran Deep Kaul from Delhi came in third with a timing of 24.92 seconds.
PT Usha's Meet Record broken
What makes her timing more noteworthy is the fact that she broke a Meet Record. India's legendary sprinter PT Usha ran 23.30 seconds in 1998. However, the National Record in 200m is by Saraswati Saha back in 2002.
This timing is Dhanalakshmi's personal best and is better than her previous timing of 24.05 seconds. The Olympic qualification mark is 22.80 and she will be hoping to clear that in the final tomorrow.
Dhanalakshmi beat both Hima Das and Dutee Chand
This is her second victory after the 100m event where she took home the gold medal with a timing of 11.39 seconds. The highlight of this event however was that she managed to beat both Hima Das (200m) and Dutee Chand (100m) in the tournament, both of whom were considered favourites to win the race.
Hima Das was disqualified for a false start in the 100m race while Dutee Chand came second with a timing of 11:58. The third place was taken by Archara Suseendran who finished in 11.76 seconds. The race final qualifiers had taken place on the opening day at the National Institute of Sports with Dutee Chand coming in at 11.51 seconds and Hima following close with 11.63 seconds in their qualifier.
Who is Dhanalakshmi?
22-year-old Dhanalakshmi hails from Tiruchirappalli (Trichy) in Tamil Nadu. She has been touted as a rising star and her previous feat includes a personal best of 11.48 at the Tamil Nadu Open Championships back in January. She was adjudged the best athlete at the 92nd Tamil Nadu Senior State Athletic Championships back in 2019.
She trains under 31-year-old Manikanda Arunmugan who is also a competitive sprinter. Dhanalakshmi trains alongside fellow Tamil Nadu sprinter, Elakkiyadasan who incidentally came second in the men's 100m event at the Federation Cup.
Image Source: Times of India