Khelo India: Dutee Chand Sets New National University Record
Sprinter Dutee Chand has won the women’s 100m and set a new Indian Universities meet record time by clocking 11.49 seconds at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar. She also clocked 23.66 seconds to run to the gold in the 200m event. The victory marked Dutee’s second gold of the Games.
India's fastest woman 🏃♀️ @DuteeChand, expresses how happy 😊 she was to participate in the Khelo India University Games 2020, Odisha and win a 🏅 for @KIITUniversity along with breaking the AIU record.#KheloIndia #KIUG2020 #KIUGOdisha2020 #KheloIndia @KirenRijiju @RijijuOffice pic.twitter.com/INcRr9kMUy
— Khelo India (@kheloindia) February 29, 2020
- Dutee Chand is representing Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology and has won the women’s 100m. She set a new Indian Universities meet record time by clocking 11.49 seconds in Bhubaneswar.
- She also clocked 23.66 seconds to run to the gold in the 200m event. The victory marked Dutee’s second gold of the Khelo India University Games.
- Dutee surpassed the previous record set by N Simi of Mangalore University (11.56) in 2018.
Talking about participating in two different events Dutee said, “In the 100m, you don’t have time to decide when to speed up or slow down, but in the 200m you have more time to realise when to go fast and when to relax the body,” after the race,” The Hindu reported. She further added, “You need to put in a lot more effort in the 200m. Runners like me, who focus more on the sprint, find it difficult on the turn in the 200m event.”
Dutee sprinted faster than the previous record-holder N Simi of Mangalore University (11.56) who set the record in 2018. Now Dutee owns the Indian university all-time record with a time of 11.32 seconds in winning the World University Games gold last year.
Dutee pulled through
“I struggled a little bit today, but I pulled through in the end to clock a competitive timing,” Dutee claimed
Currently, training for the much-awaited Olympics, Dutee’s best in the 200m came in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta where she ran 23s in the semifinal and went on to win the silver in the final. She is still 0.02 seconds slower than the qualification mark for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics which has been set at 22.80. So she is focused only on 100m for now. “The Olympic mark is 22.80 and it will be difficult for me to achieve it. Since I’m short, I find it difficult to pick up speed and it becomes tight in the end. It’s not that it is impossible, but it will need more time. It will be tough for me to focus on two events and hence I’m focusing on only 100m,” she said.
Since 2018, Dutee has gone from 11.30 seconds to 11.29 seconds and finally 11.26 seconds in April last year.
Dutee is eyeing to qualify for the Olympics. She 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 last year. She needs to cut it to 11.15 seconds, the qualifying mark for the 2020 Tokyo Games. She has time until June-July.
No Indian athlete has ever achieved 11.15s at 100m. Can Dutee secure an Olympic berth and qualify for Tokyo 2020? We will have to wait and watch.