Bhubaneswar: June 25: The Olympics this year would see an Odisha sprinter Dutee Chand who gets qualified by covering 100 m in 11.30s. With this, Dutee has become the first ever woman athlete from Odisha to have qualified for the Rio Olympics.
Chand is the current national champion in women’s 100m race. In 2012 she emerged as a national champion in the under 18-category the moment she ticked the clock at just 11.8s in the 100m event. Dutee clocked 11.33 secs in women’s 100m dash to win the gold and erase Rachita Mistry’s 16-year-old earlier national record of 11.38 secs in the 2016 Federation Cup National Athletics Championships in New Delhi.
However, Chand missed the Olympics qualifying score by one – hundredth of a second at the 100m dash of Federation Cup National Senior Athletics Championship- 2016 held in New Delhi in April.
Clocking 23.811 seconds, Chand won the bronze in the 200 metres event at the Asian Championships in Pune. This year once again it was her who bagged to be the first Indian to reach the final of a global athletics 100 m final, when she reached the final in the 2013 World Youth Championships. In the same year, she became the national champion in 100 metres and 200 metres when she won the events clocking 11.73 s in the final in 100 metres and a career-best 23.73 s in 200 metres at the National Senior Athletics Championships in Ranchi.
Chand, born on February 3, 1996 was one of the four daughters of a poor weaver couple, Chakradhar Chand and Akhuji Chand in Gopalpur in the Jajpur district of the state. Her inspiration to become an athlete has been her elder sister Saraswati Chand who was also an athlete herself. In the year 2013, she enrolled herself in the KIIT University for pursuing law.
Chief minister Naveen Patnaik has also congratulated Dutee for qualifying for the Rio Olympics and wished him best of luck. Congratulating Dutee, Sports and Youth Affairs minister Sudam Marandi said the state government would provide all help to her. Meanwhile, the Odisha Cricket Association (OCA) secretary Asirbad Behera has announced a cash award of Rs one lakh while the Odisha Olympic Association (OOA) has also announced a cash award of Rs 50,000 for Dutee