Dutee Chand's run not recognised as national record by AFI
What's the Story?
In last year's Olympic Qualifiers in Almaty, Kazakhstan, sprinter Dutee Chand, long jumper Ankit Sharma and the Indian men's relay team performed fairly well. However, the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) has decided against ratifying the national records of Dutee, Sharma and the relay team since the dope testing laboratory in Almaty wasn't accredited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
In Case You Didn't Know
Sharma had qualified for the Rio Games after setting a national record with a jump of 8.17m at the meet. The relay team, too, surpassed all expectations to win the gold medal with a record-breaking effort of 39.86s.
The Heart of the Matter
Out of 15 national records considered for ratification by the AFI, the federation didn't take into account the effort of Dutee, who had shattered the women's 100m record twice in a day at the meet with a personal best of 11.30s in the heats and then clocked a jaw-dropping 11.24s in the finals to finish second. By the virtue of her effort, Dutee had earned the distinction of clocking the fastest time by an Indian woman sprinter.
The team for Almaty included Dutee Chand, Srabani Nanda, Merlin Joseph, Reena George, quartermilers Jisna Mathew, M.R. Poovamma, Asian 800m champion Tintu Luka, long and triple jumpers V. Neena and N.V. Sheena, shot put national record holder Manpreet Kaur, national men’s long jump record holder Ankit Sharma, triple jumper Arpinder Singh and shot putter Tejinderpal Singh Toor.
Despite the setback, Chand and the other athletes were still able to qualify for the 2016 Olympics. Now, all their focus is trained on the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
It is rather gutting to see that such a brilliant effort by the Indian athletes is ignored by the authorities due to a few formalities. Although the laboratory was not recognised by the WADA, it didn't seem as if their samples tested positive.