Dutee Chand was born in a ‘below poverty line’ family of weavers, in Jajpur, Odisha, as a result, the first challenge she had to face in her life was to make it a better one for herself and her family.
23-years-old Chand is an Indian professional sprinter and current national champion in the women’s 100 meters event.
She is the third Indian woman to ever qualify for the Women’s 100 meters event at the Summer Olympic Games. However, in the 2016 Summer Olympics, her 11.69s in the preliminary round did not make her qualify to the next round. In 2018 Chand clinched silver in women’s 100m at the Jakarta Asian Games.
It was India’s first medal in this event since 1998. A feat she achieved after returning from a two-year ban; In 2014 as she was found to be having raised testosterone levels in her body. However, Dutee fought yet another battle to regain her right to compete; she did so at this year’s Asian Games, where she won the Silver medal in both 100m and 200m.
The two-time Asian Games silver medalist after winning gold in the Indian Grand Prix second leg in 2019 – also confirming her spot into Asian Athletic Championship with a timing of 23.30 seconds, had to face yet another obstacle in her preparation for the qualification to the Olympics and World Championship as she was forced to skip a vital trip to US in 2019 for a technical training programme due to delay in fund release.
She said, “Basically, I always look to improve on my personal bests. There are no better fighters than me in India.”
Nonetheless, Chand is geared up for a challenging year, and plans to still qualify into World Championships and Tokyo 2020 Olympics, as she is seeking foreign advice from coaches who can help her enhance her performance and identify the flaws in her technique.