Dutee Chand set the Nehru Stadium track ablaze by erasing the 15-year-old women’s 100m record on the opening day of the Federation Cup on Thursday.
Dutee clocked 11.33 seconds to enter the record books. The previous record of 11.38 secs was set by Rachita Mistry in 2000.
The Odisha sprinter wasn’t upset over missing the Rio qualification mark of 11.32 secs, but looked forward to Saturday’s 200m final. “My fitness is good, so posting another good timing shouldn’t be a challenging task,” she said. The Rio qualifying time in 200m is 23.20 secs.
By setting a national record, Dutee also proved her critics wrong. Her proposal to train in the US hasn’t been cleared by the government as sprinters aren’t expected to make a mark at the Olympics. Since then, she has been training in Hyderabad.
Dutee’s confidence got a boost when she reached the 60m semifinals at the March 17-20 World Indoor Championships at Portland, USA. Her coach N Ramesh said, “It made a lot of difference.”
On a day marked by mediocre performances in the finals, another Odisha sprinter Amiya Mallick set the 100m record in men. He clocked 10.26 secs in the semis. The existing record of 10.30 secs was set by Abdul Najeeb Qureshi at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games.
Mallick strained his left hamstring in the semis and finished fourth in the final. Lacking spark, the final saw Joytishankar Debnath of Bihar clock 10.41 secs to take gold.
In the morning session, there was hope L Surya would earn a Rio berth in the women’s 5000m. But as the race progressed, she wasn’t able to sustain her efforts, clocking 15:39.59 to post a meet record, which was off the Rio qualification mark of 15:24.
Shot putter Inderjeet Singh, who recently returned from the US, looked rusty in his season’s first competition. He finished second at 19.17m. Tajinderpal Singh was the winner with 19.93m.