Bhubaneswar: In what could be termed a memorable day for the sporting community of Odisha as two athletes from the State – Dutee Chand and Jauna Murmu have qualified for the Jakarta Asian Games by breaching the qualifying marks in their respective events at the 58th National Inter State Senior Athletics Championships that began in Guwahati on Tuesday.
Jauna, who was suspended for two years in 2011 for a doping violation, has bagged gold medal in 400 meters women hurdles with a timing of 57.02 seconds. The qualifying mark for the Asiad was 57.52.
Her personal best was 56.86 set in 2010 Asian Games. “I never believed that I can make a comeback, but my coach insisted that I could do it. I can win a medal in the Asiad,” said an elated Jauna.
Similarly, another Odia athlete, Dutee Chnad also breached the qualifying marks in 200m race for the the Asiad.
Chand clocked 23:46 seconds in one of the heats to qualify for the final round of the women’s 200m race, which placed her in contention for an Asian Games berth. The Athletics Federation of India has set a qualifying standard of 23:50 seconds for this event.
“My main event is 100m but I am happy to have done well in 200m also. I hope to win 200m final also,” she said after the race.
Likewise, another Odisha athlete Srabani Nanda has also qualified for the finals of women’s 200m event during the national inter-state senior athletics meet.