Dedicate Arjuna Award to entire nation, says delighted Dutee Chand

“It means a lot, definitely, and quite naturally is a huge motivation for me,” says the 24-year-old sprinter.

Sprinter Dutee Chand is delighted at being named for the Arjuna Award on Tuesday and dedicated the honour to the entire nation.   -  AP

Sprinter Dutee Chand is delighted at being named for the Arjuna Award on Tuesday and dedicated the honour to the entire nation.

“I thank millions of Indians who stood by me when I was going through tough times and this award is an answer to all their prayers, for all the support they have extended,” Dutee told Sportstar.

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“It is not easy to get this Arjuna Award for which I had applied at the last minute. It means a lot, definitely, and quite naturally is a huge motivation for me when I plan my schedule next year since nothing is going to be held this year because of the pandemic,” the 24-year-old Dutee said from Bhubaneshwar.

“Yes, like for all athletes who are disappointed with the postponement of the 2020 Olympics, this is the kind of news which lifts your spirit and morale,” Dutee said about her first national award.

For his part, Sports Authority of India athletics coach N. Ramesh is equally delighted at his ward getting the award.

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“Definitely, the award means a lot for both of us and should only spur her to realise her ultimate goal of winning an Olympic medal,” he said. “In a way, the award is a fitting recognition for her stupendous efforts, courage and conviction, especially in the wake of the hyperandrogenism controversy which could have shattered any other athlete,” Ramesh said.