Sprinter Dutee Chand eyes world rankings to secure Tokyo Olympic berth

Dutee Chand (C) is hopeful of making the Tokyo Olympics cut. (Source: Bikash Nayak/Special Arrangement)
Dutee Chand (C) is hopeful of making the Tokyo Olympics cut. (Source: Bikash Nayak/Special Arrangement)
Kaushiik Paul

India’s fastest woman Dutee Chand is still hopeful of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics on the IAAF World Rankings basis, in case she isn't able to achieve the 100m qualification mark in the upcoming events.

The Olympic qualification standard for women's 100m is 11.15s. Dutee Chand currently holds the women's 100m national record of 11.22s which she achieved at the 2019 Athletics Championship in Ranchi.

A vital cog in the Indian athletics fraternity, the 2018 Asian Games double silver medallist has been named in the women's 4x100m Indian team for the World Athletics Relay on May 1 and 2.

According to World Athletics qualification rules, athletes in the top-50 bracket will qualify for the Tokyo Olympics if they have failed to meet the qualification criteria. Dutee Chand is currently ranked 34 in the world and is the only Indian woman in the top 100.

“According to new rules, one can qualify by two ways – beating the qualification standard and secondly by the IAAF world rankings. I recently checked and I am currently at 34th. And if I am able to get two or three good international competitions, then I can get some points to increase my ranking,” Dutee Chand told Sportskeeda from NIS Patiala.

Several athletes were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic last year and Dutee Chand was no exception. She even had her German tour sanctioned last year in March, where she was scheduled to participate in a few Olympic qualifying events. But all her plans went up in smoke as the country went into lockdown.

Dutee Chand admits negligence in training before

Dutee Chand admitted that she neglected her training a bit after it was announced that the Tokyo Olympics has been postponed for a year. But she started training in full flow in February this year and hopes to be in perfect shape by May-June.

“I must also admit that I neglected training a bit. It was my mistake,” Dutee confessed. “In the recent Indian Grand Prix races I did well but faltered a bit in the Federation Cup. Now that I am going abroad, I will be training there and hope to attain the Olympic qualification time (11.15s).”

Although Dutee Chand has fetched 100m gold medals in Indian Grand Prix 1 and 2, the Odisha sprinter suffered a rare defeat to S Dhanalakshmi in the Federation Cup. Dutee Chand clocked 11.58s compared to S Dhanalakshmi’s 11.39s.

The 25-year-old also admitted that she missed out on a few competitions abroad in 2021 after the organizers barred applicants from other countries due to a surge in COVID-19 cases.

“I tried for a few competitions abroad this year but they are saying that out-of-country participants are not allowed due to COVID. I had applied for indoor events in Qatar and Germany, but they all got cancelled,” Dutee Chand signed off.

Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee

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