On track for the Olympics: Dutee Chand takes off for Rio

Dutee Chand

Dutee Chand’s dream of running the tracks at the Olympics has finally taken off. The ace sprinter took the flight this morning and will join her fellow Indian athletes at Rio de Janeiro soon.

This is what she tweeted before taking off:

Dutee Chand

The Odisha sprinter qualified for the Rio Games  in August this year by making the cut in the 100m event. Here is why the Games matter so much for Dutee Chand:

  • The last Indian to qualify for this Olympic event was ace athlete PT Usha in the 1980 Olympics. Obviously, this puts loads of pressure is on Chand, as expectations will be that she achieve what Usha couldn’t at the Games, bring home a medal.
  • The road to Rio wasn’t an easy one for Chand. After missing out in the qualification round in April this year at the Federation Cup National Senior Athletics Championship in New Delhi, Chand finally sealed her deal for Rio at the XXVI International Meeting G.Kosanov Memorial in Kazakhstan in June by clocking 11.30 seconds in the women’s 100m race. With that, she also managed to better her own national record.
  • Chand faced a fare share of controversy as well. For those who might recall, Dutee Chand had been banned for a considerable amount of time from competing in events ( including the Glasgow Commonwealth Games) , after a controversial hormone test which revealed excessive amounts of androgens( a condition known as hyperandrogenism), over the permissible levels authorised. The ruling has been overturned since, and since then she has gone from strength to strength.

Also read: This is how women waged their war against Olympics sexism and won it

India at Olympics

  • When she was just 17, Chand became the top sprinter in the country, winning 100m at the Ranchi Senior National games. After winning many nationals, she became the first woman to represent India in the finals of a 100m sprint in a world event.
  • Led by Dutee Chand, the women’s relay team smashed the 18 year old national record with their sprint at IAAF World Challenge in Beijing, making it to the 4th position in the competition. And that gave them the ticket to Rio. The last time an Indian relay team reached an Olympic final was 12 years ago in Athens. They will no doubt be looking to better their record.

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Read more from our Rio series here

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Feature Image Credit: Indiawest.com