The 24-year-old sprinter is confident regarding Olympics qualification.
There was a sudden rise in energy and enthusiasm in the Kalinga Stadium when homegirl Dutee Chand stood at the start line of the 100m finals at the Khelo India University Games in Bhubaneswar on Saturday.
The 24-year-old sprinter, representing Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT), raced away from the word go and took a massive lead.
With her competitors nowhere close to Dutee, the national record holder bagged gold with a timing of 11.49 seconds. The second best, Dhanalakshmi S from Mangalore University, clocked 11.99 seconds and Sneha SS from Mahatma Gandhi University clinched the bronze with a timing of 12.08 seconds.
“It was nice to participate at the Khelo India University Games. I have won a gold medal as well. I am really happy with my result. I was not expecting to go much faster in my first competition after the off-season. I am happy with the 11.49, though I would have liked to a sub 11.40 to begin with.”, said Dutee Chand after her win.
“This is the first meet for me in 2020. So the start of the year has been good. I will improve by 10-15 seconds in the next tournament. I am feeling very fit at the moment, however, I have to improve my speed now.”
Dutee Chand, who set her personal best and bettered her national 100m record with a timing of 11.22 seconds at the National Open Athletics Championships last year, needs to clock 11.15 seconds to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. She is currently training very hard to achieve the qualification mark.
“My practice is going on well for me. I am training for six-seven hours every day. My coach has been guiding me well in track and gym workout,” She declared.
Dutee Chand will participate in the 200m sprint on Sunday. She remarked, “The Coronavirus and the resulting travel regulations make me unsure if I will get to compete in Europe. I guess I will have to seek the Olympic qualifying time in an Indian competition this season.”