Athletics

Dutee focussed on the way ahead

Recognition: India’s ace cueist Pankaj Advani and sprinter Dutee Chand at the Sports Journalists’ Federation of India convention in Bengaluru.   | Photo Credit: K. MURALI KUMAR

After ending India’s medal drought in the sprint events at the Asian Games, the power house in Dutee Chand is determined to further her cause in the track with unwavering enthusiasm.

The 22-year-old has set her sights on clocking 11.00 seconds in the months leading to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, a benchmark she hopes will help her into the final of the 100m at the least. The national record-holder (in 11.29s, set at the Guwahati inter-State meet in June this year), speaking to The Hindu after being felicitated in Bengaluru on Tuesday by the Sports Journalists’ Federation of India for her double silver strike in Jakarta, also clarified that her aim was to give the best for the country and run at her best.

The Odisha sprinter, however, admitted that she has not as yet made plans for the special preparations for the Tokyo Games. “Only after the qualifiers I will decide whether to continue training here or abroad.

“But at the same time, I will been continuing with the same training regime which I have been following all along at least until the next year’s Asian Championships and World Championships, the performance in these events being of prime importance now. As an athlete, my job is to work hard and I will train accordingly as per the schedule prepared by my coach, N. Ramesh.”

She added that the presence of Africa-born sprinters, competing for Middle East countries, never affected her in Jakarta. “I just have to run, whoever it is. As all the athletes from different countries have different physical conditions. So, my aim in Jakarta was to do my best and I really did not think about the African athletes in the fray, as I was just focussed on my races and get whatever medal I got.”

“Now people have started asking me about winning a medal in the Olympic Games. But the truth is I still do not know how to prepare for the Olympics because I have never trained abroad.

“However, if there is a need to do that, I am very much prepared as what I am aiming to touch 11.00s in the months prior to the 2020 Games. My target was to run 11.25s at the Asian Games and as I reached close to it, clocking 11.32s in the final, I think that I can improve in the remaining two years and do my best in Tokyo.” Dutte concluded.

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Printable version | May 3, 2021 10:58:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/athletics/dutee-focussed-on-the-way-ahead/article24937787.ece

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