Dutee Chand kicks off her Olympic year with a gold

The Indian star sprinter won the top prize in the 100m dash in record time at the ongoing Khelo India University Games.

By Naveen Peter ·

Indian sprint star Dutee Chand was in blistering form as she set a new national university record in the 100m at the inaugural Khelo India University Games in Bhubaneswar on Saturday.

The national record holder in the distance, Dutee Chand, was head and shoulders above her competition as she won the dash in 11.49 seconds, obliterating the previous best of 11.56 seconds set by N Simi of the Mangalore University in 2018.

The timing was however much below her personal best of 11.22 seconds, the national record time set that she set at the National Open Athletics Championships meet last year.

S Dhanalaxmi of Mangalore University took the silver in 11.99 seconds while SS Sneha of the Mahatma Gandhi University completed the podium in 12.08 seconds at the Khelo India University Games.

Running in lane three, Dutee Chand was quick to get off the blocks to eke out a slender lead in the initial half of the race. Later, it was all about building on the advantage and the Indian international, racing for the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT), did that in a quality manner to take home the yellow metal. 

The 24-year-old had earlier won the heats with a timing of 11.61 seconds at the Kalinga stadium. 

The Indian sprinter is yet to make the Olympic cut and is 0.07 seconds short of the Olympic qualification mark, which is set at 11.15 seconds. She will be competing in the 200m event on Sunday.

Dutee Chand is gunning for a second appearance at the Olympics

In 2019, Dutee Chand became the first Indian to win a global 100-metre race when she won the top prize at the World Universiade in Naples, Italy.

However, the Indian has endured a difficult phase at the international stage since then, failing to replicate a similar run at the 2019 World Championships in Doha.

With the 2020 Olympics inching closer, Dutee Chand will be keen to get into her groove at the earliest as she embarks on her quest to gain direct entry into Tokyo 2020 by clocking the qualification time at the upcoming races.