Dutee Chand on Universiade gold: ‘There was a desire to come up with something special’

Dutee Chand became the first Indian to win a gold in the World University Games by clocking 11.32s in the 100m sprint.

 

‘Pull me down, I will come down stronger’.

Perhaps, this tweet by sprinter Dutee Chand after becoming the first Indian to win a gold in the World University Games (she clinched the 100m clocking 11.32) is truly symbolic of her amazing fighting spirit to come back from crises in her career.

Brushing aside the controversy surrounding her personal life, sprinter Dutee Chand came up with another first when the focus seemed to be more for her off-the-track events.

 

Incidentally, Dutee happens to be the second Indian sprinter to win a gold at a global event after Hima Das, who bagged the 400m gold in the World Junior athletics meet last year.

“This is truly special given the backdrop I entered this event. And more so because it gives me the tag of ‘World’ which is so important and invaluable for any athlete,” Dutee informed Sportstar from Napoli (Italy).

“Honestly, I was expecting a third or a fourth place in my second appearance in these Games. But, when I qualified for the final, I decided to give it all.” — Dutee Chand

“Honestly, I was expecting a third or a fourth place in my second appearance in these Games. But, when I qualified for the final, I decided to give it all and it was a very close race separating me with the silver medallist (Del Ponte of Switzerland 11.33) by just one second,” she said.

Was there pressure before the final? “Kuch nahi tha. Kyon ki mere University log to medal nahi laye tho bhi kuch nahi kahinge (not at all, for I knew that the University people would not say anything even if I didn’t win any medal,” the 23-year-old athlete said.

“But the desire to come up with something special was there certainly as I am preparing for the Doha World championship later this year,” says Dutee, winner of two silver (100 m and 200 m) medals in last year’s Asiad.

“The focus will be on 100m for sure even as I dedicate this medal to the Achyuta Samanta sir (founder of Kalinga Institute of Technology) for all the support,” she said.

For his part, Dutee’s coach-cum-mentor Nagapuri Ramesh of SAI says the gold is the result of a lot of efforts at Gachibowli Stadium thanks to Gopi Academy-Mytrah Foundation initiative.

“See, in sprints, a champion is one who knows when to accelerate and when to relax without reducing the speed. She is really good off the blocks. This is the reason why I made her go through the drills of speeding upto 30m and then relax for 20 m with cones on the track and this seemed to have worked really well,” Ramesh said.

“Honestly, I feel happy for her, for this is history as an Indian woman athlete winning 100 m god in World University Games is something really remarkable,” the SAI coach concluded.