Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jun 25:
Ace Odisha Sprinter Dutee Chand today qualified for Olympics to be held in Rio de Janeiro this year.
The Odia girl from Jajpur district made it to the grandest sporting event in the world by clocking 11.30 seconds to finish a 100 meter race at the XXVI International Meeting G.Kosanov Memorial in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
With that, she became the first Indian woman sprinter since PT Usha in 1980 to qualify for the 100m sprint event in Olympics.
Dutee, after her qualification, vowed to perform even better and not let anyone down in the Olympics.
“I am really happy at the moment. It has been a tough year for me and I am so happy that my coach Ramesh sir’s and my hard work has paid off,” Dutee said.
“I would like to thank all the people in India who were praying for me to qualify. Your wishes have paid off. I would like to thank Anglian medal hunt, Pullela Gopichand Academy and KIIT university for the all their support. I will not let anyone down at the Olympics”, she added.
In 2014, Dutee was pulled out from the Commonwealth Games squad and was suspended due to having a higher level of testosterone than was permissible in a woman athlete, according to the IAAF hyperandrogenism laws.
She was brave enough to fight this ban and in 2015, in a historical verdict, the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) ruled in her favour thereby allowing her to compete again.
Notably, Dutee had missed the Olympics qualifying score by 0.01 seconds at 100 meter event of Federation Cup National Senior Athletics Championship-2016 held in New Delhi in April this year.
Though Dutee had broken a 16 year old national record in the event, she finished the race in 11.33 seconds, failing 0.01 seconds short of Olympics qualifying score which stands stands at 11.32 seconds.
However, Dutee left no stones unturned today and finished the 100 meter race two seconds earlier than the qualifying score.
It may be recalled that Dutee was provided with job at Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) by the State government last month for her outstanding achievements in national and international events. (With inputs from IANS)