Tokyo 2020: Olympic medal? Anything is possible, says Dutee Chand

Sprinter Dutee Chand says she is 'stronger and faster' than she was five years ago, and that she expects a much performance in Tokyo than her performance in Rio 2016.

Dutee has been training at the Gaudium International School for the last two weeks under the mentorship of SAI athletics coach N. Ramesh to fine-tune her skills.   -  V. V. Subrahmanyam

For sprinter Dutee Chand, Tokyo Olympics preparations in the final phase are mainly about block start, finish and checking for one last time the details of a proper nutritious programme.

Dutee has been training at the Gaudium International School here for the last two weeks under the mentorship of SAI athletics coach N. Ramesh to fine-tune her skills.

“Well, all that I look for is two days of good competition in Tokyo and if that happens, anything is possible," she said with a big smile.

“There have been efforts for four months at the NIS Patiala camp before moving over to the city here,” Dutee said in a chat with Sportstar before flying to Tokyo with her coach on Friday.

'Stronger and faster'

“Definitely, the presence of Subash Pal (who was with the Indian boxing squad) helped me a lot and I can say I am much stronger and faster now than I was in the 2016 Rio Olympics,” she said.

“Olympics is a huge platform for any athlete. It is not that easy to win a medal. I am fortunate to represent my country in two consecutive editions in the 100m (and now in 200m also). Even that by itself is an achievement,” Dutee said.

“I am hoping for a much-improved show in Tokyo, much better than all the timings I have clocked in India or Asia till recently for I know how to run at Olympics level better now,” the 25-year-old sprinter said.

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“Many expect Dutee to win a medal every time I enter the track. The expectations will be there. But, after all, I am a human being, can do only what my legs eventually permit. For sure, I will be putting the best efforts in Tokyo,” she said.

“I sacrificed a lot to be in this position now like not having the food I love to eat, meeting friends and relatives, avoided many functions, even missed my LLB examinations. So, having moved so closer to the Olympics, I am conscious to avoid any distractions now,” she said. 

“I will definitely spend time with all of them once I am back from Tokyo,” she added with a smile.

Dutee Chand trains in Hyderabad. - SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

 

“For me, Hyderabad has always been my second home and I am grateful to the Gopi Chand-Mytrah Foundation, SAI, AAFI, Odisha Government, and the Union Sports Ministry for all the support in the preparations,” she said.

For his part, Ramesh said the emphasis was certainly on fitness in the last two weeks. “At this stage, we just try to focus on the strengths of Dutee,” he said.

“The best part of the last phase of Olympics training in Hyderabad is that Dutee could run with the other athletes like Youth Asiad medallists Srinivas, Deepthi, and Harika. The intensity in preparations was certainly different,” Ramesh said.

“Our target is simple - improve upon the 11.17 sec she clocked in the run-up to the Olympics. And, then hope for some luck to realise her ultimate goal - an Olympic medal,” he concluded.

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