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Sprinter Dutee Chand brings India more honour

Last updated on: July 10, 2019 12:51 IST

Becomes first Indian to bag a gold medal at the World University Games

Gold medallist Dutee Chand (centre) poses with the medal on the podium after winning gold in the 30th Summer World University Games in Naples, Italy, on Tuesday

IMAGE: Gold medallist Dutee Chand (centre) poses with the medal on the podium after winning gold in the 30th Summer World University Games in Naples, Italy, on Tuesday. Photograph: Kind courtesy, Dutee Chand/Twitter

Dutee Chand won the gold medal in women's 100-metre sprint at the 30th Summer World University Games in Naples. She crossed the finish line in 11.32 seconds, as she led the race from start to finish. This is the first for any Indian.

Dutee, who won two silver medals at the 2018 Asian Games, became one of the few athletes in the world to openly admit being in a same-sex relationship.

 

Dutee faced a lot of backlash for coming out. And, after winning the medal in Italy on Tuesday, she tweeted: "Pull me down, I will come back stronger! 

"With years of hardwork and your blessings, I have yet again broken the record by winning the Gold in 100m dash in 11.32 seconds at The World University Games, Napoli. In the pictures, are the winners too, with a heart of Gold from Germany and Sweden.  @Napoli2019_ita," she wrote in her second tweet.

Dutee is also 100m national record holder.

Running on Lane number 4, 23-year-old Dutee was the first one out of the eight athletes off the starting blocks and she made most of it to fend of a late challenge from Del Ponte (11.33) of Switzerland.

Lisa KwaYie of Germany took the bronze, completing the race in 11.39 seconds.

Earlier on Tuesday, Dutee qualified for the final with a time of 11.41 seconds in the semifinal, which had made her the first Indian sprinter to make it to the final of World Universiade.

On Monday, she had advanced to the semi-finals from the heats with a time of 11.58 seconds.

Dutee has a season best of 11.26 seconds in 100m, recorded in the Doha Asian Championships in April. She could not reach the semi-finals in the previous edition of the World University Games in TaipeiCity in 2017, where Sanjivani Jadhav had won a silver in women's 10000m race.

Dutee is a student at Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology, a deemed university in Bhubaneswar. She is yet to qualify for the World Championships to be held in Doha in September-October.

President Ram Nath Kovind congratulated Dutee on her feat.

"Congratulations @DuteeChand for winning the 100m sprint at the Universiade, the World University Games, in Naples. This is India's first such gold and a moment of immense pride for our country. Please keep up the effort, and look to greater glory at the Olympics," the President tweeted.

Dutee replied to the President's tweet, saying: "Thank you, sir. I will try my best to bring Olympics Gold Medal home. Once again, many thanks for your blessings."

Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju also applauded Dutee's efforts.

"I've been passionately following since my childhood but it never came. Finally, for the first time, a gold for India! Congratulations @DuteeChand for winning the 100m sprint at the Universiade, the World University Games, in Naples," Rijiju said in his tweet.

Dutee Chand

 

Rediff Sports Desk
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