Speed-rubber training helped Dutee excel, says coach

N. Ramesh attributes his ward’s Asian Games success to the specific training that helped enhance her speed.

Dutee Chand clinched the 100m and 200m silver medals at the Asian Games.   -  PTI

Dutee Chand profited from her quick strides and a gruelling speed rubber training regimen for her two silver medals at the Asian Games, according to her coach N. Ramesh.

Twenty-two-year-old Dutee, the 5’3” sprinter from Bhubaneswar, finished second in the 100m and 200m events; her 100m silver was India’s first in 20 years. The triumph on the track healed some of the psychological wounds she suffered while fighting for identity in the hyperandrogenism case at the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS).

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“Her start is natural, she has got very good frequency (of steps), so we worked hard on the first 30-40 metres. This season, I asked Dutee to practice with the speed rubber to enhance speed,” Ramesh told PTI.

‘Technical training’

The regimen involves wearing a band just above the knees to increase resistance while performing training drills and workouts. The drill is believed to enhance muscle power and agility which in turn helps the sprinter accelerate. “If you do it regularly, it helps you run with same intensity in the competition,” Ramesh said. “It’s not easy to maintain balance when you run with rubber tied to your body. It is very technical training. First, you perform drills, then easy running and then high speed,” he explained.

Dutee started practising with the rubber after the Guwahati Nationals in June this year. “Before she started using rubber, she would cover 40 metres in 4.95 seconds and after using it, it came to 4.80s. In sprints like 100m, it is crucial time,” said Ramesh.

Read: Gopi Chand hails Dutee's Asian Games feat

However, the training should not be overdone, cautions Ramesh. He said, “Hamstring conditioning is very important before you use it. The warm up is very crucial. The athlete should also be intelligent enough to endure and manage the pressure.”

Fighting spirit

Ramesh saluted his ward’s fighting spirit. “When India’s 100m history sheets will be looked at, it will show that before her medal, there was just one silver and two bronze in 17 editions since 1951 (actually it is two silvers and one bronze). This medal has come after 20 years. Full credit to Dutee, she fought on the track and in her life, too,” the coach said.

Dutee has a national record of 11.29s and the coach is now targeting a sub-11 time for her in the run up to the Tokyo Games. “She is only 22, maturity will come. That’s our aim, before Tokyo, we want sub-11. With that time she will make finals, at least,” he declared.

Challenging phase

Ramesh admitted the phase in Dutee’s career between 2014 and 2018 was challenging. “My role was crucial. If kids fail exams, the parents try to motivate them. Payoshni Mitra (Dutee’s lawyer) supported her and took the case to CAS. That phase was challenging. I have seen failures and success of many athletes. There is a saying that a champion either wins or learns but never loses. She is that champion,” he signed off.