National Open Athletics: Dutee Chand breaks National record on way to gold in Ranchi
Sprinter Dutee Chand set Ranchi’s Birsa Munda Stadium track ablaze, setting a national record with a time of 11.22 seconds in the women’s 100m semi-final, on the second day of the 59th Open National Championships on Friday. The previous mark of 11.26 seconds was set by the Odisha sprinter at the Asian Championships in Doha in April.
The 23-year-old, however, couldn’t bring the record down further in the final, clocking 11.25 seconds for gold, though the time was good enough to leave her rivals far behind. Tamil Nadu’s Archana Suseendran was second with a time of 11.54 seconds, while West Bengal’s Himashree Roy finished third in 11.57 seconds.
After the race, Chand said she was “mentally prepared for a good showing” and her “body responded”. “After a good warm-up, I felt everything was in sync. I had a good start and powered my way to a strong finish,” she said.
“I could have improved my timing further in the final but the break between the semi-final and final was only 40 minutes. That’s why I wasn’t able to finish strongly,” she added.
The sprinter’s performance will boost her morale going into the 2020 season after a modest showing at the World Championships in Doha recently where she clocked 11:44 seconds and couldn’t progress beyond the heats.
“Her performance in Ranchi will form the basis of her preparations for next year. “Today’s performance will give us the edge when we start the preparations next year,” Chand’s coach, N Ramesh, said from Hyderabad.
Ramesh said his ward was aiming for 11.15 seconds, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics qualifying mark, on Saturday but it eluded her. However, he was happy that Chand had improved her timing thrice this year.
During the Asian Championships in Doha in April, she ran 11.28 seconds in the heats, improving upon her 11.29 seconds clocked last year at Guwahati. She then clocked 11.26, a record, but wasn’t able to produced the same burst of speed in the final, finishing fifth with a time of 11.44. But after missing podium in the short dash, Chand won bronze in 200m at Doha with a time of 23.24 seconds.
In July, she became the first Indian sprinter to win the World University Games 100m title in Naples, Italy though her winning time of 11.32 was way off her personal best.
The men’s title went to Amiya Kumar Mallick of Odisha whose winning time of 10.46 seconds was also way off his personal best of 10.26, a national record.