Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 13:
Ace Odisha sprinter Dutee Chand today failed to qualify for the 100 metre sprint semi-final in Rio Olympics as she finished 7th in her heat clocking a timing of 11.69 seconds.
With that, Dutee’s much talked about Rio campaign came to an end. While finishing at first or second spot in the heat would have qualified her to the semi-final stage of the high profile women’s 100 metre race, she could only manage to finish at 7th place in heat 5.
USA’s Tianna Bartoletta and Poland’s Ewa Swoboda finished at first and second place in the heat with a timing of 11.23 and 11.24 seconds, respectively. Worth mentioning, Dutee’s career best performance is 11.24 seconds and a repetition of similar timing in today’s event would have qualified her to the semi-final.
As per norms, only top two sprinters from each of the eight heats progress to the semi-final round along with 8 other fastest sprinters from all the heats. Dutee’s timing of 11.69 seconds turned out to be the second slowest in her heat. This apart, Dutee stood at 50th spot among all the 64 sprinters of eight heats.
“It was just not my moment.. thanks for trusting n having faith..,” Dutee tweed after the event.
“My timing was not good as this was my first participation in Olympics. My body became stiff due to overcast weather here since morning. Travelling for 36 hours also affected my performance. I will try to perform better in the next Olympics. It was a new experience running with big athletes. I extend my thanks to the people of Odisha for their wishes and support,” said Dutee in her reaction.
“I would have performed better had the event been held in the evening instead of 11 pm. My practice time was during the evening. But the event was held at 11 pm, which is my sleeping time,” said Dutee in an audio released to the media.
The sprinter admitted that she was nervous while on the track since it was her debut in the Olympics.
Notably, the Odia girl from Jajpur district had qualified for the Olympics by clocking 11.30 seconds to finish a 100 meter race at the XXVI International Meeting G.Kosanov Memorial in Almaty, Kazakhstan in June this year.
She is the first Indian woman sprinter since PT Usha in 1980 to qualify for the 100m sprint event in Olympics.