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Jyothika Sri aiming to set Asian and National Records in 4x400m women’s relay at Paris Olympics

It has been a truly inspirational journey for D. Jyothika Sri – from the bylanes of the relatively obscure town of Tanuku in Andhra Pradesh to the 2024 Paris Olympics.

The 24-year-old Jyothika, a member of the women’s 4×400 relay squad, which made it to Paris, is “elated but not feeling any pressure at all” as she and her teammates will be leaving for Poland for a 20-day training period before the Olympics.

“We have had very satisfying preparations in Trivandrum. We will just try our best to keep doing what we have been doing right through the year, not to try anything different,” Jyothika told Sportstar.

“Once we made the cut in the World Athletics Relays in Nassau (Bahamas), we knew what to expect, what to do. And we as a team have had a great time in the preparations,” she said.

“Yes, having missed the last Asian Games because of a knee injury when I felt awfully low, this Olympics qualification so soon is truly wonderful. I repeat, I was actually targeting the 2028 Olympics,” the Ticket Collector in Indian Railways said.

“We were very unlucky to qualify for the mixed relay too by one second in the recent Inter-State meet in Panchkula for the Paris Games,” she said.

“Essentially, we will be aiming to set Asian and National Records and in the process hope to put up a performance which should be worth remembering,” Jyothika said.

“In the camp, the focus was on many aspects, but more so on baton exchange. We are not trying anything new. Just stick to the basics for sure. For that it is what the relay squad should be really good at as a team for we have to save as many seconds as possible. Once that is on target, the rest depends on our individual effort in racing to the finish point,” she explained.

“I am really grateful to my father D. Srinivas Rao (former weightlifter), first coach Vinayak sir, SAI coach N. Ramesh sir in Hyderabad and of course to Gopi-Mytrah Foundation for all the support,” the champion athlete said.

And, she is sentimental, too, wearing the same kit in national meets but is conscious of the need to be different in the Olympics. “Yes, yes, it will not be an issue for sure,” she said with a big smile.

A beneficiary of the Eenadu Group, which helps young sporting talent, Jyothika said she would like to stay calm, composed and live up to the expectations in the Paris Olympics.

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