The 24-years-old sprinter has many accolades to her name.
World University Games champion Dutee Chand will resume her quest for the Olympics Games qualifying standard at the inaugural Khelo India University Games that begins here on Saturday.
“Yes, I will sprint for my University (Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology) next week,” Dutee Chand confirmed during training on Friday.
As many as 3400 athletes from 159 universities across the country have been given entries in 17 disciplines, including rugby which is among the six-team events. A number of them are looking at the Khelo India University Games to make a mark not only for their institutions and themselves but also to catch the eye of talent scouts.
In the time to come, it would become an important rung in the ladder that the country’s student-athletes seek to climb. The attempt is to make the Khelo India University Games an aspirational competition for India’s youngsters with twin objectives of helping them find the balance between sport and education.
Dutee Chand remarked, “I may make the grade on the strength of my world ranking (currently No. 54 in 100m and No. 43 in 200m) but I really want to make it to the Olympic Games by achieving the qualification standard. To improve my ranking, I will need to compete in some quality events and, for some reason or the other, that has not happened.”
She clocked 11.26 seconds to win the semifinals of the Asian Athletics Championships and also became the first Indian to win a sprint gold in the World University Games in Napoli last year. During the National Open Athletics Championships in Ranchi, she came up with the timing of 11.22 seconds. The Olympic qualifying standard has been set at 11.15 seconds.
There are other talented athletes like Mangalore University’s triple jumper Jay Shah, his team-mate long-distance runner Narendra Pratap Singh, Pune University’s long-distance runner Komal Jagadale and Acharya Nagarjuna University’s sprinter Yarraji Jyothi who can lift the quality of competition in track and field sport.