Dutee Chand, who became the first Indian female athlete to qualify for the 100m dash in Olympics in the last 36 years, said on Saturday that she will try to give her best in the quadrennial event. The 20-year-old also thanked her coach and well-wishers for supporting her through the hard times.
In 2014, just before the Commonwealth Games, Dutee Chand was suspended from participating in any event after it was found that she had a higher level of testosterone than what was permissible in a woman athlete, according to the IAAF hyperandrogenism laws. The 20-year-old then fought her case and was cleared by the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) in 2015. After returning to the track, the Odisha sprinter produced an impressive performance and set a new national record last month to qualify for the Olympics.
Speaking to TOI in Bengaluru,
"It was only after the CAS order last year (July 24, 2015) that I got the belief that I can qualify for the Olympics. And thanks to my coach (N Ramesh) and all my well-wishers I made it to the Games. It is not going to be easy in Rio but I will give my best,"
When asked about her emotions after qualifying for the Olympics at the age of 20, the Odisha sprinter said that she wants to gain experience from the event and do well in the coming tournaments.
"I am honoured to qualify for Olympics at the age of 20 and I hope to gain from the experience to do well in the 2018 Commonwealth Games and Asian Games,"
Coach N Ramesh also acknowledged the challenges at the Rio Olympics and said that she will have to produce her best to qualify for the semis.
"She will have to produce her best to get into the semis which could have three races for the top-24. She has to work on her strides to make an impact," Ramesh told TOI.