Almaty: India's premier woman sprinter Dutee Chand on Saturday scripted history after qualifying in the 100 metres category for the forthcoming Rio Olympics. She became the first Indian woman sprinter in 36 years to make the cut after PT Usha, who was the last to represent India in this event at the 1980 Moscow Olympics.
In a scintillating run in the women's 100m heats of the 26th G. Kosanov memorial meet here, Dutee clocked 11.30 seconds, thereby creating a new national record and qualifying for the Rio Games. The qualifying mark for Rio was set at 11.32 seconds.
Dutee, after her qualification, vowed to perform even better and not let anyone down in the Olympics.
"I am really happy at the moment. It has been a tough year for me and I am so happy that my coach Ramesh sir's and my hard work has paid off,” Dutee said.
"I would like to thank all the people in India who were praying for me to qualify. Your wishes have paid off. I would like to thank Anglian medal hunt, Pullela Gopichand Academy and KIIT university for the all their support. I will not let anyone down at the Olympics", she added.
In 2014, Dutee was pulled out from the Commonwealth Games squad and was suspended due to having a higher level of testosterone than was permissible in a woman athlete, according to the IAAF hyperandrogenism laws.
She was brave enough to fight this ban and in 2015, in a historical verdict, the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) ruled in her favour thereby allowing her to compete again.
Despite this turmoil and the fact that she lost an entire year of training, that she has gone on to qualify for the Olympics speaks volumes of her fighting spirit and character.
(With IANS inputs)