CHENNAI: With prominent names such as Dutee Chand and Hima Das featuring in it the women’s 100m final was the most anticipated race in the Federation Cup athletics meet in Patiala on Tuesday.
However, the top spot was bagged by Tamil Nadu’s S Dhanalakshmi with a timing of 11.39 seconds. The 22-year-old from Trichy beat seasoned campaigner Dutee who was second with 11.58 seconds. Dhanalakshmi’s statemate Archana Suseendran came third in 11.76 seconds. Hima was disqualified for a false start.
“This is my maiden gold medal at a senior National meet. I will cherish this medal more since the field was very strong as it had big names such as Dutee and Archana in it,” Dhanalakshmi told TOI.
She hails from the Gundur village, which is about 10 km from Trichy. Dhanalakshmi lost her father early in life and her mother works in a farm. Despite the win in the event, Dhanalakshmi was disappointed not to have crossed the Olympic qualification mark of 11.15 seconds.
“Making the cut for the Olympics would have been an icing on the cake for me. But it wasn’t meant to be in this event,” said Dhanalakshmi, who had made the finals as the fastest runner with a timing of 11.38 seconds.
Dhanalakshmi’s coach Manikandan Arumugam is hopeful that Dhanalakshmi will have a podium finish at the 200m event as well. “She has trained hard for the 100m and 200m events. I strongly feel that she will be amongst the medals in the 200m event too,” said Manikandan.
Apart from Dhanalakshmi, TN’s Elakkiya Dasan also came up with a good performance finishing second in the men’s 100m event with a timing of 10.43 seconds. Punjab’s Gurindervir Singh stood first (10.32 seconds) while Maharashtra’s S Krishnakumar (10.56) was third.
In the men’s 400m final, Delhi’s Amoj Jacob stole the show with a 45.68 second timing. The TN duo Naganathan Pandi (46.09) and Arokia Rajiv (46.52) were second and third respectively.