New Delhi: The next big aim for Indian woman sprinter Dutee Chand will be to run the 100 metres in less than 11 seconds in order to stand a chance to earn a medal at major global events, coach N. Ramesh said on Friday.
Dutee arrived here from Asian Games in Jakarta where she won two silver medals in the 100 metres and 200 metres events as she became the first Indian woman after P.T. Usha (in 1986) to get two sprint medals in a single edition of the quadrennial continental Games.
The Odisha athlete clocked 11.32 seconds to earn the silver as India got a medal in this category after a gap of 20 years. The gold medal went to Bahrain’s Edidiong Odiong, who timed 11.30s, while China’s Yongli Wei took the bronze, clocking 11.33s. Dutee currently holds the national record of 11.24s.
Odiong also got the better of the 22-year-old Dutee in the 200m. Dutee clocked 23.20 seconds to finish behind Odiong, who claimed the gold medal in 22.96 seconds.
“Dutee did well at the Asian Games, especially getting medals in both the 100m and 200m is not at all easy. For the time being, it is a moment of celebration for us. However, I have some plans in place that we will execute when we get back to training after some days of break,” Ramesh told IANS on the sidelines of a felicitation ceremony organised by Kalinga group of educational institutions in which Dutee studies.
“The Olympics is in two years. We are working towards that. For me, the next aim is for her to get sub-11 seconds in 100m event — which is her favourite event,” said Ramesh, hailing 2016 Olympian Dutee a “fighter”.
Elaborating further, Ramesh said: “Even though she has some disadvantage in terms of height, she has speed — which can be further enhanced through training. Still, Dutee has other areas to improve upon like starting the race, when to slow down to avoid falling down due to overspeed and the finish.”
Dutee admitted that she has a particular thing to improve in finishing the race. “I definitely need to work on my finish and chest-finish,” Dutee, who was competing in her first Asiad said.
The two medals for Dutee at this Games meant that her career had taken a completely different turn after she was barred in 2014 for high androgen levels. After that, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) chucked her out of hostel.
Dutee said that the Odisha state government and the founder of Kalinga group of educational institutions, Achyuta Samanta helped her during the traumatic days. After she won the legal case at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against the ban in late 2015.
“Those days, I was heartbroken. But thanks to these people and my family, I managed to come back. I am also thankful to Gopichand Academy in Hyderabad where I train now,” the athlete, who hails from a family of weavers, said.
Dutee was also thankful to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who has announced cash rewards of Rs 3 crore, Rs 1.5 crore for each medal. Patnaik also announced all support to her for the preparation of Tokyo Olympics in 2020. “This will be extremely helpful. He has always supported me,” Dutee said.