Sprinting Ahead to Glory

1 year ago / by Swarnendu Biswas
Dutee Chand
Image credits: Wikimedia Commons

Dutee Chand is a professional sprinter from India. She is the present national champion of India in the women’s 100 metres event. Born on 3rd February 1996, the age of Dutee Chand is 26 years.

Born in a below poverty line weavers’ family in the state of Orissa, Dutee was inspired by her elder sister Saraswati, who ran at the state level.

Dutee Chand scripted history by becoming the first Indian to win a Gold medal in 100m race in a global athletic competition, by winning the Gold in the 2019 World Universiade in Naples.

While exploring about Dutee Chand one can come to know thatin 2012 she became national champion in the under-18 category. She clocked only 11.85 seconds in the 100 metres event. The following year she reached the finals of 2013 World Youth Championships, which was held in Donetsk, Ukraine. In 2013 only, she became the national champion in 100 metres and 200 metres at the National Senior Athletics Championships, held in Ranchi, Jharkhand.

Athlete Dutee Chand was racing ahead to glory when an ugly controversy emerged in her career.  She was dropped from the 2014 Commonwealth Games contingent at the last minute, after Athletics Federation of India stated that hyperandrogenism made her ineligible to compete as a woman athlete. She was also dropped from the 2014 Asian Games. Dutee appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), and in 2015 her suspension was lifted.

In the 60 metres race at the 2016 Asian Indoor Athletics Championships, Dutee Chand set a national record in the qualification round by clocking 7.28 seconds. She eventually won the Bronze medal in the final by clocking 7.37 seconds. In the 2016 Federation Cup National Athletics Championships in New Delhi, Dutee won  Gold medal in the 100 metres dash and broke 16-year-old national record of Rachita Mistry by clocking 11.33 seconds in the race. But she missed the Rio Olympics’ qualification norm by one hundredth of second.

Just two months later, Dutee Chand broke her own national record twice in the same day at the XXVI International Meeting G Kosanov Memorial at Almaty, Kazakhstan, which enabled her to participate at the Rio Olympics.

However, at Rio Olympics, Dutee Chand couldn’t move beyond the heats.

Winning of Silver medals at the 2018 Asian Games, held in Jakarta and Palembang, in the Women’s 100 metres final, and in the Women’s 200 metres final, are other highpoints in her career.

Hopes of millions of Indians were resting on her performances at the Tokyo Olympics to which she had qualified. However, she crashed out of 100 m race in the first round and in the 200 m also she finished last in her heat race and couldn’t make it to the semi-finals.

FAQs about Dutee Chand

When did Dutee Chand start her journey in sports?

Dutee and Saraswati were enrolled in a government sports hostel in 2006.

Whom did Dutee Chand marry?

She is not married. In 2019, she became India’s first ever open lesbian athlete when she publicly stated that she was in a same-sex relationship. She faced huge backlash from her village after that bold announcement.

How many Olympic races have she won?

She has won none as yet.