The fastest Indian woman is eyeing her second Olympic appearance after making it to the heats at the Rio Olympics.
Indian sprinter Dutee Chand finds herself in a race against time to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Like a lot of athletes, the coronavirus pandemic has deprived her of training and competitions to qualify for the showpiece event in Japan later this year.
The fastest woman sprinter in India was set to train and be a part of the Olympic qualifying events in Germany earlier this month but she had to change her plans after Europe was declared the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I was to go for a training-cum-competition stint in Germany from March 2,” Dutee Chand told the Press Trust of India. “I was planning to run in some quality competitions in Europe and hoping to qualify for the Olympics. But all my plans fell apart due to this coronavirus.
“I am not going out other than for training, not doing any other non-essential things... I am training hard also as I cannot stop doing that whether there is coronavirus or not.
"I am maintaining good hygiene, not having outside food, washing hands frequently. But I cannot use sanitisers all the time while training. Hope this situation is over fast in India and in the world,” Dutee Chand added.
With the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) likely to cancel the Federation Cup, Dutee Chand will be hoping to hit the Olympic qualifying mark for women’s 100 meters in the Indian Grand Prix-1.
Dutee Chand’s personal best time of 11.22 seconds is shy of the Olympic qualifying time of 11.15 seconds for the women’s 100 metres and the Indian sprinter admitted that she’s worried about not having the opportunity to qualify for Tokyo 2020.
“I am worried that I may not qualify for the Olympics. It is very tough to qualify for the Olympics… You get good competitors in Europe and that pushes up your timing.” the 24-year-old said.
The latest challenge in what’s been a rollercoaster career for her so far, qualifying for the 2020 Olympics is her most recent hurdle having overcome gender testing for the hyperandrogenism gene condition as a teenager and discrimination after coming out as gay.
The 2016 Rio Olympics saw Dutee Chand become just the fifth Indian to participate in the women's 100 metres. She failed to make it beyond the heats four years back but will be hoping to at least be a part of the heats in Tokyo in a few months.