Dutee Chand aims to qualify for Tokyo Olympics next month

Dutee Chand, who set a personal best and bettered her national 100m record last year, is set to participate in the Khelo India University Games.

Dutee Chand believes that most of the sporting talent in India exist in schools and colleges.   -  Vivek Bendre

India’s ace sprinter Dutee Chand on Wednesday said she is eyeing qualification for the 2020 Olympics in competitions scheduled to be held next month.

The qualification mark for the 100m event has been set at 11.15 seconds.

“I haven’t qualified for the Olympics yet. I’ll get a chance to qualify for the Olympics in competitions which will be held in February,” said Dutee.

The athlete believes the Khelo India University Games will help in unearthing new talent, with the first edition scheduled to be held in Bhubaneswar from February 22 to March 1.

The sprinter, who clinched gold at the World University Games last year, feels that most of the sporting talent exist in schools and colleges.

“The Khelo India University Games is a great way to unearth talent in this country. I will be taking part in the tournament as well,” said the 23-year-old.

Dutee, who set a personal best and bettered her national 100m record with a timing of 11.22 seconds at the National Open Athletics Championships last year, thanked the Odisha government for supporting athletes and helping them to make a career in sports.

“The Odisha government is supporting the sports circuit very well. Athletes are getting jobs in the government sector and they are providing facilities for all athletes to perform as well.

“Earlier, the focus was only on cricket, but now athletics is also being promoted. Athletes from rural areas are getting a chance to showcase their talent through the Khelo India Games. They are being provided with facilities as well. There’s a SAI campus in every state where the upcoming athletes can train,” she said.

The national record holder will participate at the Khelo India University Games for the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology.