Dutee Chand qualifies for Rio 2016 Olympics in women’s 100m

Sprinter Dutee Chand today created history by qualifying for the upcoming Rio Olympics in women’s 100m event after meeting the qualification mark at XXVI International Meeting in Kazakhstan. The Odisha athlete became the 99th Indian to qualify for the Rio Games, starting on August 5 to 21. Dutee is also the first Indian woman to qualify for the coveted 100m event since the International Olympics Committee introduced a qualifying mark in the segment. Legendary athlete PT Usha had qualified for the same event in 1980 Moscow Olympics. In a scintillating run in the women’s 100m heats of the 26th G. Kosanov memorial meet, Dutee clocked 11.30 seconds, thereby creating a new national record and qualifying for the Rio Games. The qualifying mark for Rio was set at 11.32 seconds. Dutee, after her qualification, vowed to perform even better and not let anyone down in the Olympics. “I am really happy at the moment. It has been a tough year for me and I am so happy that my coach Ramesh sir’s and my hard work has paid off,” Dutee said.
“I would like to thank all the people in India who were praying for me to qualify. Your wishes have paid off. I would like to thank Anglian medal hunt, Pullela Gopichand Academy and KIIT university for the all their support. I will not let anyone down at the Olympics”, she added. “Dutee clocked 11.30s to achieve 2016 Rio Olympic qualification in women’s 100m at XXVI International Meeting in Kazakhstan early today,” the Athletics Federation of India said. Dutee was banned in 2014 by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) as her body produced testosterone at levels which were deemed higher than the limits for women sportspersons. But the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in July, 2015 cleared the sprinter by suspending the “hyperandrogenism” rules, which may also be scrapped if the IAAF fails to provide evidence. “This is great news. I was in tears when I got Dutee’s message this morning. All the effort that we had all put in has finally paid off,” said Payoshni Mitra, the Indian government appointed advisor for Dutee at the CAS.
Speaking to a new agency from London, an ecstatic Mitra added, “Dutee is such a great champion both on and off the field. She deserved to be the first woman ever from India to compete in Olympics 100 metres dash since qualifying standard was introduced.” Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik, congratulated Dutee on her achievement and wished her luck for the Games. Despite this turmoil and the fact that she lost an entire year of training, Dutte’s qualification for the Olympics speaks volumes of her fighting spirit and character.

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