In her first competitive race of the year, India's fastest woman Dutee Chand clinched gold in 100m dash at Khelo India University Games, in Bhubaneswar, on Saturday.
The 24-year-old sprinter, representing Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT), raced ahead to take a massive lead within no time.
With her competitors nowhere close to Dutee, the national record holder bagged gold with a timing of 11.49 seconds.
Her time was faster than the 11.56 clocked by N Simi (Mangalore University) in 2018, but Dutee Chand owns the Indian university all-time record with a time of 11.32 seconds in winning the World University Games gold last year.
"It was really nice to participate at the Khelo India University Games. I have won a gold medal as well. I am really happy with my result," Dutee said after her win.
"This is the first meet for me in 2020. So the start of the year has been good. I will improve by 10-15 seconds in the next tournament. I am feeling very fit at the moment, however, I have to improve my speed now."
Dutee, who bettered her own national record with a timing of 11.22 seconds at the National Open Athletics Championships last year, needs to clock 11.20 seconds to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.
“The coronavirus and the resulting travel regulations make me unsure if I will get to compete in Europe. I guess I will have to seek the Olympic qualifying time in an Indian competition this season,” Dutee Chand said, sporting a wide grin as she walked to the warm-up track for a recovery session in preparation of the 200m sprint on Sunday.
"My practice is going on really well for me. I am training for six-seven hours every day. My coach has been guiding me well in track and gym workout," she said.
Second gold for Narinder
In men's 5000m race, Narendra Pratap Singh of Mangalore University bagged the gold, his second of the Games after the 10,000m win. He broke his own 5000m university record in the process.
His time of 14:18:19 was almost 10 minutes faster than his teammate Adish, who finished second.
It was also almost a minute quicker than the previous record that he himself had set at the Inter-University Games earlier this year.
"The 5k is my favourite event. Recovery was going to be the biggest challenge, and I was surprised by how good I felt today actually," said the 23-year old B.Com student.
"The next stop is the Federation Cup of course, but to be honest I am really looking forward to the Nationals later this year," he added.