'Timing should be between...': Dutee Chand opens up about ‘medal-winning chance’ in Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022

Updated on Jul 13, 2022 09:47 AM IST

Dutee Chand will be participating in the women's 4x100m relay event and will be aiming to win a medal for India in the upcoming Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022.

Dutee Chand will be a key prospect for India ahead of the Commonwealth Games. (PTI)
Dutee Chand will be a key prospect for India ahead of the Commonwealth Games. (PTI)
ByNeelav Chakravarti, New Delhi

Gunning for glory, India's Dutee Chand will be aiming to win a medal at the upcoming 2022 Commonwealth Games to be held in Birmingham. The international multi-sport event is scheduled to begin from July 28 and its closing ceremony will take place on August 8. The ace sprinter will be participating in the 4x100 women's relay where the Indian team will consist of Hima Das, Chand, Srabani Nanda, MV Jilna, NS Simi and Dhanalakshmi Sekar. Only four sprinters will make the cut for the event, and bracing up for the competition, the 26-year-old athlete opened up about her preparations for CWG 2022.

"The team training is going very well. Our result depends on our timing. The time we are registering now, if we get that in the Commonwealth Games, then we will have a chance to win a medal," Dutee told Hindustan Times in an exclusive chat.

Revealing the name of the final four runners for the CWG event, Dutee added, "The personal best of the four of us who are running (Hima Das, Dhanalakshmi, me and Srabani Nanda) is between 11.4-11.5 seconds. If our collective timing is between 42.9-43.3 seconds, then we have a medal-winning chance.”

Analysing India's main opponents in the women's 4x100m relay event, Chand believes Jamaica and Australia could pose a serious challenge. "Our main opponents are Jamaica, they are very good. The personal best of everyone in their team comes at 11, 11.1, 11.2 seconds. Then there is Australia, they are also very strong. But still our team is also very good. This is the best 4x100m relay team India has made for CWG till now", she said.

Dutee, the reigning national champion also mentioned about the diet provided to her by the Sports Authority of India (SAI), which includes chicken, mutton, fish, paneer, potatoes, cauliflower, peas, rice, chapattis. Regarding her training schedule for the upcoming CWG, she mentioned that it begins at 7 AM and ends at 9:30 AM, followed by breakfast and then afternoon practice.

"Our training begins at 7am and ends at 9:30 am. We take our breakfast at 10am and then rest. We resume training in the afternoon. If we have some injury, then we do exercise. Otherwise, the training happens for five hours. In the morning, it's for two hours and then in the afternoon it is for two-and-a-half hours", she said.

The Odisha native's current personal best in 100m is 11.17 seconds, which is also the national record. Despite her heroics, Chand and other Indian 100m sprinters haven't been able to get into the 10-second bracket and are far behind elite runners.

Explaining India's slow progression in women's 100m, she said, "Before nobody wanted to take part in 100m. It was also hard to participate. Women athletes were mainly taking part and doing well in 400m, 800m, triple jump and long-distance events. I joined 100m in 2014 and began to perform at international level like Asian Games and Olympics. Then the 100m started attracting more women. In India, they say that if some event doesn't have any career, then nobody will participate in it. If there is a career in the event, then they will participate.

"We need more time. Earlier there were no facilities. Now there are facilities like High Performance Centre and TOPS, we also get foreign coaches. Athletes are getting help and in 2-3 years, we will get medals."

Recently, Dutee made a startling revelation that she was a victim of ragging during her stay at a Sports Hostel in Bhubaneshwar from 2006-08. The bombshell claim came after a student allegedly committed suicide due to ragging in a hostel in Odisha. Chand explained that while ragging is very common, she never thought about committing suicide during her college days.

"In the hostel in Odisha, a girl committed suicide. In the suicide note, she mentioned that she was ragged a lot by seniors and that's why she committed suicide as she couldn't bear it anymore. So I commented that ragging happens everywhere. In my sports hostel also it happened, where the senior didis would rag us, mentally and physically. Physically, they would ask us to wash clothes, massage them. I did a lot but I never heard or thought about suicide as my main aim was to make a career of myself. I didn't complain or anything", she said.

With the Commonwealth Games scheduled to get over on August 8, Chand updated about her upcoming competitions. "After CWG, I will participate in the National Games and Open National Meet", said Dutee.

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