Dutee Chand: 'Personally, I like my 100m medal more'

She won two silver medals in her maiden Asian Games, but star sprinter Dutee Chand cherishes her closely-fought 100m silver more than the 200m win.

Dutee Chand clinched a silver each in the women’s 100m and 200m in the ongoing Jakarta games.   -  Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Dutee Chand has no second thoughts about her silver-medal winning performances at the Asian Games. Although she came second narrowly both times — by 0.02 seconds in the 100m finals and by 0.24 seconds in the 200m finals — she admits she “gave my best.”

At a felicitation ceremony, Dutee said, “I lost the gold twice, that was God’s will, I gave my best. There is nothing more one can do when the difference is so less. My aim now is the Olympics. I want to compete in the finals,” she said.

“I had to work very hard for this result. It is huge that I won two medals. Personally, I like my 100m medal more. I focussed on that event more and I lost it by a very small margin,” she added.

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Dutee was grateful to the Gopi Chand academy that prepared her for a comeback after her career hit a roadblock due to hyperandrogenism. The resurrection involved a successful appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and determined training.

“I stayed for four years at the Gopi Chand academy in Hyderabad. I fought my case from there and then finally won Asian Games medals. I cannot express in words how much I am grateful to him,” she said.

Read: Gopi Chand hails Dutee's Asiad feat

Her efforts were acknowledged when the gold medallist in both the 100m and 200m sprints — Edidiong Odiong — and others made a “touching gesture.”

“I was hugely touched by the way the gold medallist and others treated me. They came up to me and said I was an inspiration for them. They all congratulated me for the way I fought back to return to the track. It was indeed a touching gesture,” she remembered.

Also read: When Asian Games felt like Olympics to Dutee Chand

Dutee also thanked the Odisha State government for its support. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had announced a cash reward of Rs. 1.5 crore for each of her two medals. “I am delighted that the State government is supporting me so much. They are going to bear all my expenses till the Olympics,” she said.