Dharun misses late father, dedicates Asiad silver to stoic mother
India's Dharun Ayyasamy hopes that his Asian Games silver medal in 400m hurdles will be enough to get him a job so that he can support his stoic mother, who raised him single-handedly after the death of his father.
"My father passed away when I was eight years old. My mother has made a lot of sacrifices for me. I owe her this. She is still earning just Rs 14,000 per month as a teacher," said the 21-year-old from Tirupur in Tamil Nadu.
He now wants to support his mother and is hoping to get a job after his best ever performance.
Dharun produced his personal best timing of 48.96 after he pushed hard in the last 100 metres to clinch a silver.
The soft-spoken athlete gave an insight to his state of mind during the race.
"I just wanted to run my race. I did not give importance to others. My pace in the first half was not very different to the pace in second half. Really happy to better my national record," said Dharun, who had clocked a then Personal Best of 49.45 in the Federation Cup in March earlier this year.
He trained for six months before the Asian Games in Poland and Czech Republic.
"That helped a lot," said Dharun, who is a second year college student.
The seasoned Sudha Singh, who won a silver in the women's 3000m steeplechase, was relieved to win a medal after the disappointment in Incheon four year ago.
"I gave my personal best time in Incheon but that was not good enough for a medal. So it did not mean much," said the 32-year-old from Amethi.
She had won a gold at the 2010 edition in Guangzhou.
She has been around for a while but will take a call on her future after the 2020 Olympics.
"Lots of new girls are coming up in steeplechase, which is heartening to see. It was not the case earlier. Hope this silver inspires more youngsters," she added.