Updated: August 9, 2021 4:16:10 pm
After returning from Tokyo to India, Olympian Dhanalakshmi Sekar broke down into tears upon learning about the death of her sister on Sunday.
The 22-year-old, who was a reserve for the 4x400m mixed relay team, returned to Gundur village near Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu from the Olympic Games along with another sprinter, Subha Venkataraman. Within a few minutes after meeting her family, Dhanalakshmi came to know the tragic news: her sister Gayathri had breathed her last on July 12.
However, Dhanalakshmi’s family didn’t inform her about the passing of her ailing sister as they wanted her to focus on the competitive event. While speaking to a local channel, Dhanalakshmi’s mother Usha, a daily wage labourer, said Gayathri had been a pillar of support for the athlete.
The sprinter, who had lost her father at an early age, had been living with her mother and elder sister. Dhanalakshmi’s other sister had passed away seven months ago due to health complications.
According to IANS, Dhanalakshmi had put a sensational performance during the selection trials at National Institute of Sports (NIS) Patiala, beating P.T. Usha’s record in the 200m heats and had also won 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, an IANS report added.