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Dutee Chand becomes first Indian woman to win 100m gold in global meet

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New Delhi: National record holder Dutee Chand became the first Indian women to win gold in 100m in a global event in the World Universaide in Napoli, Italy on Wednesday.

Soon after her win, Dutee tweeted: “Pull me down, I will come back stronger!”

The 23-year-old clocked 11.32 seconds to win the gold, leading from start to finish. She was the first one to blast off the blocks out of the eight final athletes, and made most of it to fend off a late challenge from Switzerland’s Del Ponte (11.33).

“With years of hardwork and your blessings, I have yet again broken the record by winning the Gold in 100m dash in 11.32 seconds at The World University Games, Napoli,” she said.

Dutee has now become the second Indian sprinter to win a gold in a global event after Hima Das, who clinched the top spot in 400m in the World Junior Athletics Championships last year.

President Ram Nath Kovind congratulated Dutee on her win. “Congratulations @DuteeChand for winning the 100m sprint at the Universiade, the World University Games, in Naples. This is India’s first such gold and a moment of immense pride for our country. Please keep up the effort, and look to greater glory at the Olympics,” the President tweeted.

Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju also applauded Dutee’s efforts. He twitted, “I’ve been passionately following since my childhood but it never came. Finally, for the first time, a gold for India! Congratulations @DuteeChand for winning the 100m sprint at the Universiade, the World University Games, in Naples.”

On July 8, Dutee clocked 11.58 in the heats and on July 9, clocked 11.41 seconds in the semifinals, and qualified for the finals.

Dutee has a season best of 11.26 seconds in 100m, recorded in the Doha Asian Championships in April. In the previous edition of the World University Games in Taipei City in 2017, she could not reach the semifinals, where Sanjivani Jadhav had won a silver in women’s 10,000m race.

Athletics

Sprinter Hima Das claims 200m gold in Czech Republic

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Hima Das has now won two international gold medals in two weeks.

Kladno: Ace sprinter Hima Das bagged her third international gold in two weeks after she bagged the top spot in women`s 200m event at the Kladno Memorial Athletics Meet here om Czech Republic.

On Saturday, Das clocked 23.43 seconds to bag the top honours.

Meanwhile, national record holder Muhammed Anas also won gold in the men`s 400m race as he clocked 45.21 seconds to bag the top honours.

In her first competitive 200m race of the year on July 2, Das had clocked 23.65 sec to win gold at the Poznan Athletics Grand Prix, also in Poland.

After that, she won her second 200m gold at the Kutno Athletics Meet in Poland on July 8. Braving a sore back, the Assam runner had clocked 23.97 seconds to win the gold while Kerala runner V.K. Vismaya had grabbed silver with a timing of 24.06 seconds.

World junior champion Hima has a personal best of 23.10 seconds, which she clocked last year.

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Athletics

World junior champ Hima Das claims 200m gold in Poland

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Hima Das clocked 23.65 seconds on her way to the 200m gold.

Poznan: In her first competitive 200 metre race of the year, star sprinter Hima Das bagged gold while national record holder shot putter Tajinder Pal Singh Toor won the bronze at the Poznan Athletics Grand Prix here.

World junior champion Hima clocked 23.65 seconds on her way to the 200m gold. She has a personal best of 23.10 seconds, which she clocked last year.

V.K. Vismaya, another Indian in the fray, finished third with a personal best time of 23.75 seconds.

Muhammed Anas, the 400 metre national record holder, finished third in the men’s 200m race with a timing of 20.75 seconds. K.S. Jeevan clinched the men’s 400m bronze in 47.25 seconds.

Meanwhile, Toor won the men’s shot put bronze with a best effort of 19.62 metre.

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Athletics

Back at training, sprinter Dutee lauds support for same-sex relationship

Shail Desai

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Sprinter Dutee Chand at the launch of Skechers GoRun 7 in Mumbai.

Mumbai: It wasn’t a rather tame joke cracked on the dias that had Dutee Chand, 23, beaming. This was a smile that reflected a sense of relief.

She hopped about, admiring the new Skechers GoRun7 shoe during the launch, while rehearsing her warm-up routine. It was an impromptu high-knee action over a short distance – definitely not a part of the rehearsed routine for the event – which took the stage by surprise. She stopped and walked back to the spot she had been assigned. The lipstick flourished as she broke into a smile again; the make-up sat pretty on her dusky cheeks.

It’s been close to a month, since Chand came out in the open about the same-sex relationship she is in. While the world commended her resilience, it drew rash criticism from other quarters, including her family.

“It disturbed my training routine for about two weeks since I made the announcement. There was a lot of stress on me. But I’m happy that I’ve gotten back to my training again,” Dutee said.

“For me, the support that I received from the public makes me feel really comfortable,” she adds.

There wasn’t a hint of exasperation as she patiently took questions on her personal life. And in the next few moments, she mentioned how the intrusion only egged her on to train harder on the track. Support has come from many quarters since, including the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) and the Sports Authority of India (SAI).

“They just asked me to focus on the training. There are others who are orthodox in their thinking, which is where the challenge lies. But those who understand my situation know that it is my personal life at the end of the day,” she says.

Back to the training under the watchful eye of coach N Ramesh, Chand wants to focus on the World University Games later this month in Italy. She believes that her inclusion in the Target Olympic Podium (TOP) Scheme will be critical to her performance in the time ahead. 

“I still haven’t heard back from them. I wanted to go to Florida to train, but it got delayed because of the elections. Hopefully, it will work out next year,” she says.

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