"I ran 11.39 during the 1980’s, it doesn't matter if they run such timings today”, quipped PT Usha after presenting the medals to the winners of the 100m women's final at the 61st National Inter-State Athletics Championships.
Hima Das clocked the fastest timing at 11.43 seconds while her biggest rival Dutee Chand finished second at 11.44 seconds. However, the qualification mark for the Commonwealth games stood at 11.31 seconds.
Since none of the athletes qualified for the Commonwealth Games, Usha was not impressed withthe overall performance, and said “the only difference was that Dutee was the leader of the pack earlier and now it is Hima. It means nothing according to me.”
Usha, who missed a 400m bronze medal at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984 by a whisker, said “Look at other events for the world level meets, not 100m. Hope you know what I mean,” on being asked about how the Indian girls stack up against their international competitors.
While Usha caused a flurry at one end of the stands, Olympian Dutee Chand, who has the national and meet record to her name at 11.17 and 11.29 respectively, was another star who attracted people towards her like bees to honey. She spoke to her coach as she removed a piece of tape from her shoe.
“It was all going fine till a piece of tape got stuck to my spikes while I was running,” said Dutee, who ran 0.26 seconds short of her personal best.
“I haven't left all hope for the Commonwealth, I am confident that our 4x100 metre relay team will go for the games," she said.
The women's 100m world record is 10.49 seconds by American Florence Griffith-Joyner (1988) while Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica holds the Olympic record after clocking 10.61 seconds last year in Tokyo.
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