Dutee gets ready for World Championships

Dutee Chand, competing in the international circuit for the first time after the Rio Olympics, has won three medals. These performances, Dutee says, are morale-boosting ahead of the London World Championships in August.

After winning three medals since returning to the international circuit post Rio Olympics, Dutee Chand targets World Championships qualification.   -  K. Murali Kumar

Sprinter Dutee Chand is back with a bang in the circuit, winning a bronze and two silver medals in the first three legs of the Asian Grand Prix in China and Chinese Taipei last week.

She now targets the qualifying mark (11.26 s) for the World Championships later this year.

The 20-year-old Dutee, competing in the international circuit for the first time after the Rio Olympics, clocked 11.59 s to bag the bronze medal in the first leg and then shaved off .02 s in the second leg to clinch a silver medal in China. Then, she bagged another silver in the Chinese Taipei leg with a timing of 11.52 s.

“It is always tough to come back in such a competitive circuit after a long off-season when the demands are naturally very high both in terms of training and setting new standards," says Dutee.

“It is a wonderful feeling to win three medals in the Asian Grand Prix series and definitely a huge morale-booster too,” says the diminutive athlete, training under Sports Authority of India (SAI) coach Nagapuri Ramesh at the GMC Balayogi Stadium in Gachibowli here.

“Yes, winning these medals should spur me to come up with improved timings in the coming events which include the Grand Prix in Bengaluru, Federation Cup and the Asian Track and Field meet in July,” reminds Dutee, whose comeback  after being slapped a ban by the the International Association of Athletics Federations in 2014 on suspected hyperandrogenism, is an inspiring story.

“I don’t think I had to make any big changes in the training methods. With Ramesh Sir taking care of every minute aspect of my programme, all that I need to do is to focus on improving my timings,” she says.

For his part, Ramesh insists that the major difference in training now is the ABC running drills. “Earlier, we were focussing up to 40 m and now 100 m. This is helping Dutee a lot,” he says.

“To win three medals at the Asian level after a long off-season is not a joke. It is really challenging on all fronts. The only event she took part was in the Birmingham indoor meet after Rio Games. And, I feel she should compete in more of such events in future," explains Ramesh.

“We have a hectic season ahead and the ultimate target this season would be to make it to the World championship. Having recorded 11.24 last year, I am sure she can meet it. The best part is she is committed, determined and that unbridled zeal to keep improving,” he adds.