Dutee Chand wins gold at Khelo India University Games

India's star sprinter Dutee Chand clocked 11.49s to win the 100m gold at the Khelo India University Games in Bhubaneswar on Saturday.

Dutee Chand is currently 0.07s short of making the Olympic qualification mark, which has been set at 11.15s.   -  special arrangement

Dutee Chand's quest for an Olympic berth began in fine fashion as she stormed to a dominating win in the 100m event at the Khelo India University Games here on Saturday. Running in lane 3, she clocked 11.49s to bag the gold, setting a new Inter-University record in the process.  

Talking post the race, Dutee said she was glad to get the year off to a winning start and assured she had a lot more left in the tank.

"I am very happy because this is the first time I have begun the year so well. And I hope to shave off at least 0.10 seconds in my upcoming races," she said, surrounded by an army of cameras, all eager to snap a byte with the local star.

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Dutee was the first to get off the blocks and ran a comfortable race, powering her way past second-placed Dhanalakshmi S of Mangalore University, who clocked 11.99s. Representing host KIIT University here, Dutee ran 11.61s in the semifinal earlier in the day.  

However, the Odiya sprinter has run faster. She set the track ablaze at the National Open in October last year, where she ran 11.22s to set a new national record. She is currently 0.07s away from making the Olympic cut, with the qualification mark set at 11.15s.

While the audience hoped she would breach the Olympic mark here, Dutee said she needed a higher level of competition to push herself further. "As you saw, there wasn't a lot of competition here. To achieve the Olympic cut-off I need to compete against faster athletes who will help me push me further," she said.

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