Indian runner Dutee Chand has appealed to her countrymen to do their best, empathize and help beat the coronavirus pandemic that has brought the world to a standstill.
“These are difficult times for everyone. But the key is to bounce back as a country. Everyone must not only think of themselves but also of other people and must do their best to ensure that the coronavirus does not spread,” Dutee Chand told the Indian Express.
“The efforts and sacrifices of healthcare workers, doctors, nurses and those who are part of essential services, in the private sector and government, who have to go out every day must be applauded.”
The Indian runner is at her home in Bhubaneswar and the nation-wide lockdown has affected her training schedule, which she will address once the spread of the coronavirus is arrested.
“I have been doing basic exercises at home and trying to stay as fit as possible,” she revealed. “For athletes, if we don’t go out and run or follow our regular training regime, we feel empty, but I am not complaining because, at present, everybody’s priority is to stop the virus from spreading.”
Seeking qualifying opportunities
The 24-year-old was also sympathetic to athletes who had already qualified for the Tokyo Olympics, which has been postponed by a year but asked them to be patient citing that their efforts to peak at the right time will pay off eventually.
Dutee Chand is yet to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics and though she was pleased that she had more time to relaunch her ambitions, her training plans have been thrown off.
“The postponement means I will get more time. As the Tokyo Games are now going to be held in 2021, I guess the qualifying period window will open again and this will be an opportunity,” she admitted.
“I was planning to make Germany my training base and also participate in competitions in Europe in a bid to qualify for the Olympics. But because of the pandemic, this won’t be possible. Just see how things change. Right now, no one can even think of going to Europe,” she pointed out.
Though Dutee Chand holds the national record in the 100m, she would have to lower her time to make the cut for the Tokyo Olympics and will be looking to achieve it when normal service resumes.