Sprinter Dutee Chand recently shifted her base to Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar to train for the much-awaited Olympics. Before this, she has been training in Hyderabad’s Gachibowli stadium but the poor condition has now forced her to shift to her hometown to train further. This marks five years of the sprinter’s moving to Hyderabad city following the hyperandrogenism row.

Dutee’s name was highlighted in a controversy when in 2014 after the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) suspended her, she moved to Hyderabad. After a strong appeal in the Court of Administration for Sport (CAS) and winning the right to compete, Dutee only got better with time.

Key Takeaways:

  • Dutee Chand shifted her base to Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar to train for the Olympics. The poor condition of Hyderabad’s Gachibowli stadium where she used to train led her to move to her hometown. 
  • The Sports Authority of Telangana State is planning to lay a brand new track at the Athletics Stadium in GMC Balayogi Sports Complex, Gachibowli.
  • Dutee Chand is the star athlete from the country prepping for the Olympics qualifications. 

After Dutee’s training got disturbed which made her shift to her hometown for a while, the Sports Authority of Telangana State was quick to respond and planned to lay a brand new track at the Athletics Stadium in GMC Balayogi Sports Complex, Gachibowli.

“Yes, it has worn out but we are trying for a replacement of the 16-year-old track, laid in 2002 when Hyderabad hosted the National Games. We have petitioned the Government of India for support under infrastructure development, they are yet to take a decision,” A. Dinakar Babu, vice-chairman and managing director of the Sports Authority of Telangana State, Deccan Chronicle reported.

“The only synthetic track in Hyderabad has worn out. It was good in 2016 until when it was properly maintained. This is where I trained and qualified for Rio Olympics. After the government opened it up to everyone — walkers, joggers and conducting of private tournaments — the state of the track deteriorated and it got damaged. I had even suffered a hamstring injury last year while practising on it,” Dutee complained.

“Here in Bhubaneswar I have access to a lot of facilities — gym, swimming pool et al — apart from a new track, that’s the reason why I left Hyderabad,” the 23-year-old said of the track laid in 2017 for the Asian Athletics Championships

“We have already laid new tracks in Warangal, Karimnagar and Medak in the last two years. Relaying of the Hyderabad track was slotted in the second phase. Once we get the Government nod, we will go for tenders and lay a brand new one. It could take two or three months because we have to compete with other States as well to secure the sanction,” the SATS chief added responding to the complaints.

Tokyo dreams

Dutee is eyeing to qualify for next year’s Olympics.

Since 2018, Dutee has gone from 11.30 seconds to 11.29 seconds and finally 11.26 seconds this April in Doha.

Dutee broke the national record in 100-meter sprint heats. At the National Open Athletics Championships in Ranchi in October, Dutee bettered her personal best with a timing of 11.22 seconds. She went on to win gold at the finals. Her previous national record was 11.26 seconds, which means she is now 0.04 seconds faster than she was at the Asian Athletics Championships in April this year. She needs to cut it to 11.15, the qualifying mark for the 2020 Tokyo Games. She has time until June-July next year.

No Indian athlete has ever achieved 11.15s at 100m. Can Dutee secure an Olympic berth and qualify for Tokyo 2020?

READ: Dutee Chand Faces Backlash From Family Over Same Sex Relationship

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