Tanuku girl fulfils father’s Olympic vision

Dandi Jyotika Sri is currently in preparation for the Olympics in Thiruvananthapuram and Hyderabad, and will soon leave for the coveted event.
Dandi Jyotika Sri
Dandi Jyotika Sri(Photo | Express)

RAJAMAHENDRAVARAM: Dandi Jyotika Sri, a 24-year-old from Tanuku in West Godavari district, will be representing the country in the Paris Olympics 2024. Jyotika Sri, who dreamt of becoming a doctor, has been a sports enthusiast from her school days. However, she decided to pursue a career in sports during her graduation. She is a part of the Indian women 4x400 metres relay team which will participate at the Paris Olympics which are scheduled to begin from July 26.

Speaking to TNIE, Jyotika said, “I am investing all my strength and resources to win a gold medal for the country in 4x400 relay and bring laurels to the nation.” Born on July 16, 2000, Jyothika completed her schooling at Montessori High School in Tanuku, Intermediate and graduation in Vijayawada. Her father, Dandi Srinivasa Rao, is also a bodybuilder who nudged her into the sports arena.

Jyotika told TNIE that her father stopped being a bodybuilder to start a business in order to support the family. “He is a sports enthusiast and it is his encouragement that led me to where I am today. He told me that he would take care of everything while I concentrate on my sports career and fulfil my family’s Olympics dream.”

Srinivasa Rao told TNIE, that he always dreamt of seeing his daughter representing the country in the Olympics, and added, “I have two daughters and no sons. But I brought them up as good sportspersons. Jyotika is a bright student who got 97 per cent in her SSC exams. She is keen on pursuing athletics. So I encouraged her in athletics.”

Stating that she learned everything she knew from her Gurus, Jyotika told TNIE, “My school coach Sitaramaiah in Tanuku, Vinay Prasad in Vijayawada, and my current coach Ramesh Nagpuri in Hyderabad are my gurus in athletics. I will never forget their contribution in shaping me up as an athlete.”

Jyotika Sri broke into news when she won the National Under 23 Championship in 2021, followed by National Open Championship in Thiruvananthapuram in 2023 in 4x400 relay. Again in 2023, she won a bronze in 4x400 metres relay at 2023 Asian Athletics Championships and a gold in the Indian National Championships at Thiruvananthapuram. For her Olympics qualifying event, she represented the 4x400 relay Indian team at the 2024 World Relays Championships in Nassau, Bahamas, and ran the fastest leg of the quarter, landing a spot at the Paris Olympics 2024.

She is currently in preparation for the Olympics in Thiruvananthapuram and Hyderabad, and will soon leave for the coveted event.

Speaking to TNIE, her coach Ramesh Nagpuri expressed optimism and said, “Jyotika’s strong points are endurance and the way she opens up in the last 40 metres. I have not seen many athletes do so well like her. She has the height and perfect physique for the 4x400 relay.” Wishing her well, West Godavari district sports officer M Rajesh termed the day she represents the country at Olympics as a memorable day, pointing out that she is the first one to do so.

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