Youth from Av­inashi qual­i­fies for Olympics

19-year-old fi­nally man­ages to se­cure funds af­ter Olympics call

The Hindu - - CITY - R. VI­MAL KU­MAR

Dharun Ayyasamy, a 19-year-old from a vil­lage near Av­inashi, has qual­i­fied to rep­re­sent In­dia for the Rio Olympics in the 4 X 400 me­tres re­lay.

TIRUPUR: The first lap of this race was dif­fi­cult, but the track is clear now for Dharun Ayyasamy, a 19-year-old lad from a vil­lage near Av­inashi.

He has qual­i­fied for the Rio Olympics to rep­re­sent In­dia in the 4 X 400 me­tres re­lay, and what is more, has found spon­sors too. But he has had to fight many odds to get here.

Dharun lost his fa­ther 11 years ago, and has been sup­ported in his sport­ing en­deav­ours by his mother K. Poon­godi, a teacher in a pri­vate school in Kaniyam­poondi here.

“Only af­ter Dharun got sil­ver medals in the ju­nior South Asian Fed­er­a­tion games in Jhark­hand a few years ago, did fi­nan­cial sup­port start com­ing. Till he started win­ning medals, only my brother Boopa­thy, my sis­ter Mo­hana and her hus­band Sivakumar were ex­tend­ing fi­nan­cial sup­port”, Ms. Poon­godi told

She fondly re­calls the con­tri­bu­tions of Sak­thi Ku­mar and J. Alage­san, the school coaches who tu­tored him on the nu­ances of ath­let­ics, es­pe­cially run­ning and hur­dles.

Col­lege gives stipend

A monthly stipend of Rs. 15,000 given by Alva’s Col­lege of Arts at Mood­abidri in Kar­nataka, where Dharun is a stu­dent of BA (Hu­man Re­sources) has pro­vided re­lief, help­ing the fam­ily meet sundry expenses in­curred to par­tic­i­pate in sports events.

The Olympic qual­i­fi­ca­tion brought in the Union Govern­ment, which is tak­ing care of all train­ing costs. Fi­nan­cial help from pri­vate bod­ies and in­di­vid­u­als too has come af­ter the Olympics en­try and the me­dia at­ten­tion that fol­lowed.

The Tirupur Ex­porters As­so­ci­a­tion, Ro­tary Club in Av­inashi and some in­di­vid­u­als have ex­tended fi­nan­cial sup­port to the fam­ily.

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