Athletics

I am not finished yet, says Dutee Chand

Prime objective: Dutee Chand wants to keep her feet rooted and focus on the tougher tasks ahead.  

Ace sprinter Dutee Chand on Wednesday declared that she is not finished yet and the gold she won at the World University Games last week would spur her to achieve more despite the negative vibes from some quarters after her recent admission of same-sex relationship.

The 23-year-old Dutee became the first Indian woman track and field athlete to clinch a gold medal in the World Universiade after she won the 100m dash event in Napoli, Italy on July 9.

Answer to critics

Dutte said the gold was an answer to her critics, who had written her off after her admission of same-sex relationship.

“Many people have commented in bad languages. They said that Dutee is now focused on her personal life and her athletics career will be over. I wanted to let them know that I am not finished yet,” she said in an interview.

“Just like any other human being is concerned about his or her personal life, I also need to think about my personal life. That is why I came out and made everybody know about my relationship (with a girl of her village).

“But that does not mean that I will neglect my athletics career. I have done (admitted the same-sex relationship) what I thought was needed and now I am focusing on my athletics more than even before,” she added.

After winning the yellow metal at the World Universiade, she had also tweeted: “Pull me down, I will come back stronger!”

Focus on tougher tasks

Dutee also described her history-scripting gold in the World Universiade as the “highlight” of her career but wants to keep her feet rooted to focus on the “tougher” tasks of qualifying for the World Championships and Olympics.

She is yet to qualify for both the World Championships, to be held in Doha later this year, and next year’s Olympics in Tokyo.

Dutee, who holds the 100m national record of 11.24 seconds, will have to be at her best if she is to qualify for the Sept. 27-Oct. 6 World Championships.

“The 100m gold was my first at World level, it is my career highlight so far. But it is a tough road ahead. My target is to qualify for the World Championships and then the Olympics,” she said.

“I am overwhelmed by the congratulatory messages from so many people including such important people. But I am not going to be carried away by this (historic 100m gold at World Universiade) and I have to focus on the important events ahead,” she said.

The World Championships qualification timing is 11.24, which is higher than the 2017 standard of 11.26, while the Tokyo Olympics 100m qualifying time is 11.15 which is a much tougher task. Dutee ran her season’s best of 11.26 during the Asian Championships in Doha in April and she will have to at least repeat it in less than next two months’ time.

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2021 12:58:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/athletics/i-am-not-finished-yet-says-dutee-chand/article28529955.ece

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