The entry of Dutee Chand, India’s two-time Olympian in 100m sprint, into next week’s Belgrade World Indoor Championships at the eleventh hour hasn’t upset her outdoor plans, as per her coach N Ramesh.
The World Indoor Championships is scheduled to be held in Belgrade, Serbia, from March 18. Dutee will be participating in the 60m dash. Though this event doesn't feature in the major outdoor events like Olympics and Asian Games, coach Ramesh believes participating in it will help Dutee's overall performance.
“We will take it a different way. Getting an opportunity to compete at the World Indoor Championships is a good chance to focus on getting fast off the blocks. If Dutee is able to improve her personal best of 7.27 seconds for the 60m dash, it will give her an edge over her rivals during the upcoming competitions in April and May.”
Dutee Chand's record in 60m sprint
The 26-year-old sprinter from Odisha had clocked 7.27 seconds at the 2016 Asian Indoor Championships. In the same year, at the World Indoor Championships, Dutee Chand qualified for the semifinal stage of the 60m dash.
Earlier this year, the Asian Indoor Championships, set to be held in Kazakhstan, were postponed due to the pandemic. It forced top athletes, including Dutee, to concentrate on the outdoor season.
The 2019 World University Champion in the 100m dash dominated the recently-concluded All India Inter-University Athletics Championships in Bhubaneswar.
Following that event, Dutee Chand is now all set to compete in the 100m event in the second leg of the Indian Grand Prix, scheduled for March 23.
The Indoor Championships, however, hold a very different type of relevance for the Asian Games silver medalist. According to Dutee’s coach, focus is to enter the semifinal stage of the 60m dash at the World Indoor Championships.
“Reaching the semis will be a big achievement. It will be a bonus if Dutee is able to break her personal best of 7.27 seconds."
Apart from Dutee Chand, other Indian participants in the major event in Belgrade include national record holder in men’s long jump M Sreeshankar, and 2018 Asian Games champion in shot put Tajinderpal Singh Toor.
Adille Sumariwalla, president of the Athletics Federation of India, said Sreeshankar and Singh got entry on the basis of their world rankings while Dutee was given wild card entry in the 60m dash.
“Sreeshankar is ranked 14th and Singh is 18 on the Road to Belgrade 2022 lists."