Dutee’s Tokyo bid to start at Asian Indoors in China
Things are looking up with the Odisha government selecting her for a ~50 lakh grant with the state’s Jauna Murmu (400m hurdles) and Purnima Hembram (heptathlon) also expected to get funds to prepare for the July 24-August 9 Games.Updated: Jan 22, 2020 23:28 IST
Ten months ago, Jakarta Asian Games 100m and 200m silver medallist, Dutee Chand, was desperate for funds to train for the Tokyo Olympics after a ~1 crore proposal wasn’t cleared by the Odisha government and she wasn’t included in the sports ministry’s Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) as she did not meet the criteria.
Things are looking up with the Odisha government selecting her for a ~50 lakh grant with the state’s Jauna Murmu (400m hurdles) and Purnima Hembram (heptathlon) also expected to get funds to prepare for the July 24-August 9 Games.
The trio needs to achieve qualification, either through competitions or by their position in the World Athletics global ranking system. The deadline is June 29.
Chand shifted her training base from Hyderabad to Bhubaneswar last year. She will start her season with a 60m run at the Asian Indoor Championships in Hangzhou, China, on February 12-13.
“A good time in 60m will fetch me points to improve my 100m global ranking. If I clock 7.30 secs it will help me qualify for the world indoors in March,” she said over phone from Bhubaneswar. Her 60m personal best is 7.28 secs.
The global ranking is based on the average of five best results in the qualifying period. The points will depend on the level of competition. The cap is for 24 athletes in combined events and 56 in the 100m. Chand’s 100m national record (11.22 secs) clocked in October at the Open Nationals in Ranchi is slower than the Olympic qualifying time (11.15 secs).
The 23-year-old deputy manager at Odisha’s mining department, said funds will help compete on the European circuit. “In March, there is plan to compete in an indoor meet in Germany. After that I will chalk out the programme for outdoor competitions,” she said.
To help her qualify for her second Olympics, Chand’s coaches have roped in two junior male training partners whose 100m best is around 11 secs.
She failed to qualify last year. Her coach N Ramesh said: “Fitness-wise there was no issue, but the body and mind sometimes is not in sync.”
Last July, she won the 100m at the World University Games in Naples, Italy, but at 11.32 secs. In the September Doha world championship, she ran 11.44 secs to be eliminated in the heats.