Indian athlete Dharun Ayyasamy on Saturday bettered his own national record with a run of 48.80 seconds in the men’s 400 meters hurdles at the Federation Cup in Patiala.

The 22-year-old had previously set the national record, with a 48.96-second run, during his silver medal-winning performance at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta.

This is the second successive time that Dharun has broken the national record at the Federation Cup. Last year, he just recovered from a bout of typhoid prior to the event but he had still clocked 49.45 seconds, setting a new national record for the first time in his career. He thus erased Joseph G Abraham’s 10-year-old national record of 49.94 which was established in August 2007 in Osaka.

Dharun, who lost his father when he was eight years old, started off as a kho-kho player but switched to athletics and later joined the national camp in 2013, training under Galena Bukharina.

“My father passed away when I was eight-years-old. My mother has made a lot of sacrifices for me. I owe her this. She is still earning just Rs 14,000 per month as a teacher,” Dharun, who hails from Tirupur in Tamil Nadu, had said after his Asian Games triumph last year.

The upward arc of his career is continuing for now but qualifying for the Olympics and doing well there will be a completely different challenge.