The village that cursed Dutee Chand a year ago, waits for her grand welcome today
After a long one year, Dutee Chand, the best sprinter of the country now, is returning her home in Gopalpur village in Orissa this week. The village which forced her to leave for Hyderabad to continue her training after Duti was banned from running last year just before the Glasgow Commonwealth Games due to the undue percentage of testosterone in her body. The raised questions whether Duti Chand was truly a girl or boy! The 19-year old sprinter who made a triple crown by winning gold medals in 100, 200 and 4×100 meters relay race in the recently concluded Open National Athletics Championships in Kolkata, said on Saturday, “After returning from Glasgow with a ban on my career I could not go out of my home in Gopalpur. Most of the people, even some of the relatives glared at me with great disbelief. I had got support from only my parents, my elder sister Saraswati and from a few officials of Orissa State Athletics Association during that tremendous crisis period. Finally, I did not want to waste time only sitting at home. So I left for Hyderabad, went to SAI coach Nagpuram Ramesh and there he organized my stay at the Gopichand academy. My career would have been washed away if Gopichand would not have come forward that time, offering me his academy hostel to stay and train under Ramesh.”
And today, before going back her home, Dutee was informed by her elder sister Saraswati that the villagers are waiting for the sprinter to offer her a grand welcome! The athlete, having heard about only smiled and said, “Today, I have no allegation against anybody. After reaching home, I will go to Puri Temple to pray for better performance in near future with my parents and Saraswati.”
Dutee Chand who wants to participate in the Rio Olympics next year only in 100 and 200 meters is likely to go to famous Santa Monica Track & Field Club in the USA in January. She said, “I also have a dream of meeting legendary Carl Lewis and take some advice from him regarding the improvement of my timing in the 200 meters especially. I need to clock 23.20 seconds to earn the qualification for the Olympics. And here in Open Nationals Athletics, I have clocked 23.69 seconds.” And on the arrangement of required financial aid for her USA trip, Dutee informed, “Union Sports Minister Mr. Sarbanand Sonowal has already promised me that he would organize the money which will be required for my training and participating in competitions in the USA. So I am hopeful that I will be able to go and train there at the Santa Monica for at least three to four months.” That might be the reason Dutee dedicated her all three gold medals to the Union Sports Minister, she won in the Open National Athletics in Kolkata!
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