India’s 100m Sprinter Dutee Chand Books Rio Olympics Spot
Dutee Chand becomes the first Indian woman since PT Usha to qualify for the 100m event in Olympics.
Nearly a year after fighting her way back into her international career by winning a landmark ‘gender’ case, the gutsy Indian woman sprinter Dutee Chand qualified for Rio Olympics 100m dash on Saturday, shattering her own national record in the process at the 26th G Kosanov Memorial Meet in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
The 20-year-old Dutee clocked 11.30 seconds in the women’s 100m heats in the Kazakhstan Meet to book the Rio Olympics ticket. The qualifying mark for the Rio Olympics was set at 11.32 seconds.
With the effort, Odisha athlete Dutee bettered her own national record of 11.33 seconds which she set at the Federation Cup National Championships here in April. She is the 20th Indian track and field athlete to have qualified for Rio Games.
Dutee is also the first Indian woman to have qualified for 100 metres race in an Olympics since the qualification system was introduced in the event. The legendary PT Usha was the last Indian woman to have run a 100m race in Olympics in 1980 Moscow Games but there was not qualification system at that time.
For Dutee, it is a remarkable achievement to make the Olympics cut as she was banned mid 2014 and dropped from the Commonwealth Games as she was found to have a higher level of testosterone (male hormone) than the permissible limit in a woman athlete, according to the IAAF hyperandrogenism policy.
Dutee lost an entire year of training and competition but faced the turmoil bravely and fought the ban at the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) in Switzerland. In July last year, in a historic verdict, the CAS partially upheld her appeal and allowed her to resume her career.
I am really happy to have qualified for Rio Olympics. It has been a tough year for me. My hard work and that of my coach (N Ramesh) has paid off.Dutee Chand
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