Dutee Chand hopes to make it to the Worlds

“The emphasis in the training is on stride length, speed and better finishing,” says Dutee Chand.

Sprinter Dutee Chand trains under the watchful guidance of SAI coach Nagapuri Ramesh at the GMC Balayogi Stadium in Gachibowli, Hyderabad, on Friday.   -  V. V. Subrahmanyam

Sprinter Dutee Chand returns next week to Almaty in Russia where she met the qualifying mark last year for the Rio Olympics in the 100m event. But now she has a fresh goal — to make it to the World Championship to be held in United Kingdom in August, in the 100m and the 200m.

In an exclusive chat with Sportstar after another grinding schedule under the watchful eyes of her mentor and coach Nagapuri Ramesh of SAI (athletics) at the GMC Balayogi Stadium in Gachibowli here on Friday morning, Dutee says that she is more confident now having won the 100m gold (11.30) in the Indian Grand Prix in Delhi last month and again winning the 100m gold (11.48) and a silver in the 200m (23.60) in the Federation Cup meet in Patiala last week.

“The fact that I have been training since last October without any break and with the specific objective of making it to my maiden World championship is a matter of immense, personal satisfaction. Now I know exactly what is expected of me and what I have to do on the track on the given day,” says a confident Dutee. “The emphasis in the training is on stride length, speed and better finishing,” she adds.

“Fortunately, there are three major events before the Worlds, including the two international meets in Kyrgyzstan (June 17) and Almaty (June 24) and the Asia Track and Field championship in Bhubaneshwar, this July,” the 22-year-old Dutee says. “I just hope to make it to the World Championship and do well unlike in Rio where, apparently, my inexperience and not having support staff proved to be very costly,” she says.

“Yes, I am really excited at the huge opportunity of running in front of my home crowd, in my home city, in the ATF. There will be so many sportslovers who should be keen to watch me live on the track as, till now, they have been seeing me only TV,” says the smiling champion athlete.

For his part, Ramesh, who played a vital role in bringing Dutee back into the circuit after the career-threatening hyperandrogenism regulations last year, says the qualifying timings for the Worlds are 11.26 in 100m and 23.10 in 200m. “She is more confident and is smarter in preparing in right earnest for the daily training schedules to ensure that there are no injury worries. There is lot of maturity in the way she is approaching her training,” he added.

“Next year is going to be big with the Commonwealth Games and also the Asian Games scheduled. So, it is a long-term training programme that is on with her," he says.

Importantly, Dutee can now bank on a full team overseeing her preparations including Mytrah Foundation project director Amit Malik, physio Navnita, groundstaff member Sridhar Babu, who ensures everything is in place for the athlete to train at the venue, and the Pune-based nutrition expert Aradhana seeing to that the right diet is available for her.

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