"I've taken a lot of risks due to COVID-19" - Dutee Chand opens up about her Tokyo Olympics qualification journey

Indian sprinter Dutee Chand [Image Credits: Dutee Chand/Instagram]
Indian sprinter Dutee Chand [Image Credits: Dutee Chand/Instagram]

Dutee Chand has been one of India's best women sprinters for a long time. Her passion and fearlessness are what separates her from many athletes.

She also became only the third Indian to feature in the 100 meter event at the Olympics. Dutee Chand is definitely among the Indians to watch out for at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

Also Read: Tokyo Olympics: Indian athletics should make it count this time

Dutee Chand and her sensational national record

Dutee Chand has picked up almost every national record in the 100-meter category. The sensational runner has broken her own national record several times. Her most recent record at the 100-meter event came at the Indian Grand Prix.

Dutee completed the race in 11.17 seconds, just 0.2 secs shy of the Olympic mark. However, her timing was enough to help her get into the Top 56 in the world rankings.

In an exclusive chat with Sportskeeda, Dutee Chand said:

"We compete in 5-6 national competitions. And those events are organized to qualify for the international competitions. We are given a qualification mark by IOC. And until we achieve that timing we will not be able to compete in the international competitions."

Also Read: Tokyo 2020: List of Indian Athletes Qualified For 2021 Olympics

While talking about what motivates her to better her timings, the sprinter said:

"We were given 11.30 seconds to qualify for Rio. I clocked 11.24 and qualified there. They gave a timing of 11.15 for Tokyo, I happened to clock 11.17 but managed to qualify. These timings are not decided by me, it's decided by the IOC. We athletes train hard, while keeping the IOC's given timings in mind. This helps us perform well and even create national records."

What's different this time for Dutee Chand at the Tokyo Olympics?

Dutee Chand will be heading into her second Olympic campaign. The athlete was only 20 years old at the time of the Rio Olympics. She has definitely grown a lot since the last edition of the Games in 2016.

The sprinter has competed in many international competitions and has also managed to bag several medals. Dutee Chand became the first Indian woman to win gold at an international competition. She achieved this mark at the 2019 Universiade games, where she clocked 11.32 in her finals.

While talking about the competition she will face in Tokyo, Dutee said:

"I was a bit nervous at the Rio Olympics. As I had never competed against these international brand of athletes. But it's going to be different in Tokyo. I have experience this time. All the athletes coming in from US and other places, I have already competed against them atleast once. And so I'm confident about Tokyo."

The sprinter has worked extremely hard to compete at the Tokyo Olympics. While talking about the work she's put in for the games, Dutee Chand said:

"It's my privilege to have qualified for Tokyo. 100 and 200 meters are the most critical races in the competition. If it was easy, then India would have a lot more participation. I have been training hard and have taken a lot of risks with the COVID-19 situation. Whatever work I've put in, I'll try and make it worth it and give my very best in Tokyo."

Also Read: "Our main aim is to improve the 11.17s record": Dutee Chand's coach highlights the primary goal for Tokyo Olympics

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Edited by Diptanil Roy