Dutee Chand sets national record, moves closer to Olympic qualification mark

India’s fastest woman broke the national record at the National Open Athletics in Ranchi.

India’s ace woman sprinter Dutee Chand was in top form at the National Open Athletics Championships underway in Ranchi as she bettered her own national 100m record on Friday.

The sprinter clocked a blistering 11.22 seconds in the first semi-finals, obliterating her previous record of 11.26 seconds.

Chand then went on to win the final with a timing of 11.25 seconds.

Her previous record was also set earlier this year at the 2019 Asian Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar.

With this achievement, Chand edges closer to the Olympic qualifying mark of 11.15 seconds for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. The Indian has until June next year to make the cut.

Friday’s performance will come as a boost for the star sprinter who missed out on qualifying for the semi-finals of the 100m at the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships held in Doha recently.

At the Worlds, Chand had placed seventh clocking 11.48 seconds in her heats, which was below her best.

On and off

Chand has had a tumultuous journey so far - personally and professionally. As a promising teenager, she was the first Indian sprinter to reach the final of an international athletics meet - the 2013 World Youth Championships.

In 2014, she was banned for failing a hormone test that indicated extremely high levels of testosterone.

Chand, however, went on to win a successful appeal and the ban was lifted in March 2015.

Participation in Rio 2016 and her haul of two silver medals at the 2018 Asian Games ensured Chand was here to stay.

Earlier this year, she also opened up about being in a same-sex relationship followed by her noteworthy performance at the World Universiade in Naples, Italy where she became the first Indian to clinch gold in a 100m race in a global meet outrunning her competition with a time of 11.32 seconds.

She is also only the second Indian sprinter to win a gold medal in a global event behind Assam’s Hima Das who did so at the IAAF World U-20 Championships in Tampere in 2018.

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