Dutee Chand realises her 'ultimate dream'

Dutee Chand described her historic success of qualifying for the Rio Olympics as the realisation of an 'ultimate dream'. Dutee became the first woman from India to be participating in any Olympics in the 100m sprint category.

Dutee Chand has admitted to having been tense ahead of the athletic meet in Kazakhstan.   -  PTI

Sprinter Dutee Chand has become the first Indian woman athlete ever to qualify for the Olympics in 100m when she made it to the upcoming Rio Olympics with a timing of 11.30 sec — the qualifying mark is 11.32 — in the 26th International Kosanov memorial meet in Almaty (Kazakhstan) on Saturday.

> Read: Dutee Chand qualifies for 100m in Rio Olympics

Now, the performance in the 100m final scheduled later will be inconsequential as far as Olympics qualification is concerned for Dutee.

It may be recalled here that the 20-year-old Dutee had to face the ignominy of being suspended in 2014 from athletics competitions on the grounds of suspected hyperandrogenism (questioning her gender). However, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) suspended the IAAF regulations in this regard for two years, last July, facilitating Dutee’s return to the competition circuit.

READ: >Odisha CM congratulates Dutee on her Olympics qualification

“This is the ultimate dream. I could not have asked for a better moment in my life than making it to the Rio Olympics,” a delighted Dutee told Sportstar.

“The hunt was on for this moment to be realised. But, there was always that tension in the last one month even as the preparations were really on in right earnest. With the July 11 deadline to achieve the qualifying mark for the Rio Games fast approaching, I was definitely tense before this meet in which athletes from 21 countries are participating.

"But, once I was on the track, I was relaxed which was what my coach Ramesh Sir kept on insisting,” said Dutee. “I could see my coach restless from 3.00 a.m. today before the heats. He was praying to God and cheering me on continuously to just give off my best. I am glad that I could repose his immense faith in me,” pointed out the spirited athlete whose best earlier, according to her coach, was 11.33 sec in the 100m.

“The fact that I broke the national record in the process is even more special in this regard,” she remarked.

Dutee’s coach and mentor, Nagapuri Ramesh of SAI (who is accompanying her), reminded that they were grateful to the organisers for facilitating visa at the last minute from Kyrgyzstan to Kazakhstan (three hour road journey) after the Indian Embassy chipped in with crucial efforts to see that the gifted athlete got another chance to qualify for the Olympics in Brazil.

'Near-perfect'

“It was a near-perfect effort by her. She followed all the technicalities till 40m by leaning forward before changing pace in the next 60m. The best part is that she was relaxed while competing,” Ramesh told Sportstar.

“This is one of the greatest days not just for me but for also Dutee. Making it to the Olympics is the pinnacle for any sportsperson,” he signed off before joining his gifted athlete for the final scheduled soon.

Dutee, who missed the 2014 Commonwealth Games and Asian Games during her suspension, did make an emphatic statement immediately on her comeback in the Nationals in Kolkata last September, winning the 100m, 200m and the 4x100m relay gold.

In fact, Dutee has been repeatedly proving her critics wrong with her consistency at the highest level which included the feat of being the only Indian woman athlete to make it to the World Indoor Meet in USA this March in the 60m dash.

For the record, this Orissa-born athlete also won two silver medals in the 200m and 4x100m and a bronze in the 100m events in the Guwahati South Asian Games early this year.