When S. Dhanalakshmi made her 400m debut at the Olympics trials in Patiala on Sunday, she felt good in the first 200m and thought the next half would go well too.

But in the last 100m, she realised how difficult it was to run the quartermile.

“After 300m, everything sort of switched off. I felt like I didn’t have any energy left. I’ve never run more than 300m before,” said the 23-year-old National 100m champion, who stunningly made the Indian 4x400m mixed relay team for the Tokyo Olympics after that run, in a chat with Sportstar from the Patiala National camp on Tuesday.

When Russian Galina Bukharina, the national coach for the quartermilers and relay teams, asked her to do the 400m trials, Dhanalakshmi was very excited with the new opportunity.

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“Since my chances in the 100m…

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