Asian Games 2018: Dutee Chand wins silver in women's 200m, her second medal from the Asiad
What's the story?
At just 22 years of age, Dutee Chand is well on her way to making history as she sprinted ahead like a thunderbolt to clinch the silver medal in the women's 200m event at the ongoing Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games on Wednesday. With a little over two days having lapsed since her previous silver medal win in 100m, Dutee showed no sign of fatigue but displayed sheer focus and concentration as she raced to the finish line and ensured India's 52nd medal on Day 11 of the Asian Games.
Dutee will now be rubbing shoulders with the likes of PT Usha and Jyotirmoyee Sikdar, who all have that rare record of winning twin medals or more at an Asiad.
In case you didn't know...
The firebrand athlete, hailing from the idyllic coastal town of Gopalpur, Odisha, became the second Indian woman to win a silver in the 100m category on 27th August, 2018 when she missed out on the gold by 0.02 seconds. Dutee touched the finish line in 11:32 seconds and laid her hands on the elusive silver, which PT Usha last won 32 years back at the Seoul Asian Games.
The heart of the matter
For the student of Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology, Dutee has achieved surreal records for her age. It was only in the Busan Asian Games, 2002 that Saraswati Saha had sprinted to a gold medal win in this event. With the silver medal win at the 200m event, Dutee Chand brought another end to India's 16-year medal drought in the 200m race.
The girl from Odisha who had been surprisingly dropped from the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games squad due to several issues, had a real struggle to fight before landing on that race track in Jakarta. Doing so, she is making sure that she proves herself worthy of it.
In the 200m event, Dutee surpassed the finishing line in 23.20 seconds. It was again Bahrain who raced ahead to a gold. Edidiong Odiong, who hails from the island country in the Persian Gulf, secured a 22.96 finish to bag a gold whilst Wei Yongli of China covered up in 23.27 to take the bronze. Initially Dutee was at the 3rd spot into the 50m of the race, but later she inched ahead as the second fastest to claim that silver.
Barred from taking part in the 2014 Commonwealth Games as the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAFF) found her having hyperandrogenism, the journey was not easy for the young Dutee.
This is an endocrine disorder where the female body produces an unnaturally high level of the male hormone testosterone and hence is considered to give the athlete an extra competitive edge. Ever since 2014, Dutee has been made to go through a particularly difficult time.
But soon the gloomy clouds were blown away when in January 2018, the IAFF produced new criteria for such athletes and Dutee was free from the scanner and could participate.
The supremely talented athlete who holds a National Record for her 11.29 seconds 100m personal best, has etched her name into the pages of history with this twin medal win at the Asian Games 2018. Given this marvellous feat, it goes without saying that she has done the country proud and, with the kind of fire raging in her heart and the hunger in her eyes, she looks like she will be out there for a long time, making us more proud with every run.
How many more medals will India add to its tally? Do share your thoughts in the comments section below.