Odisha Sprinter Dutee Chand’s Olympic Preparation Suffers Jolt

Bhubaneswar: Star athlete Dutee Chand suffered a jolt ahead of the 2021 Olympics after the indoor track event at Almaty, Kazakhstan, was called off at the last minute.

Double Asian Games silver medallist and the national record holder in 100m was expecting to hone her skills in the 60m indoor competition on January 29. Now, the cancellation of the meet due to COVID-19 pandemic forced the athlete to reschedule her training for domestic competitions commencing in Patiala on February 18.

“I couldn’t compete in other indoor meets in Europe due to seven days quarantine guideline for athletes from India. Since I don’t face tough competition on the home soil, races in Europe would have given a good start to the season,” the 25-year-old sprinter was quoted as saying by news agency IANS.

Dutee bagged a bronze in the 60m dash with a timing of 7.22 seconds at the Asian Indoor event in 2016. The same year she also made it to the semi-finals of the World Indoor Championships.

The Indian outdoor season starts with the Indian Grand Prix in Patiala from February 18. “It will be a sort of warm-up event ahead of the Federation Cup in March,” Dutee, who is sponsored by the Odisha government, told the agency.

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