In what comes as a massive setback and disappointment for top-quality sprinter Dutee Chand, her nomination for the Arjuna award was turned down by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
According to news agency ANI, the nomination was rejected because Odisha government filed her name only after the deadline had passed, and to make things worse, her medals were also not in order of ranking.
After the issue, Dutee Chand told ANI that she met CM Naveen Patnaik and had also requested him to resend the nomination to the Sports Ministry for Arjuna award. She also highlighted that CM has assured her that the nomination papers would be sent again and asked her to prepare for the futuristic events.
Previously on July 10, 23-year-old Dutee scripted history as she 11.32 seconds to clinch the gold at the World University Games in Naples, thus becoming only the second Indian ace sprinter to win gold in an international event after Hima Das, who completed on top in 400m at the World Junior Athletics Championships last year.
However, Dutee Chand wouldn’t worry too much about why Arjuna Award nomination was rejected. Her goal is to be better than she used to be.
Talking about previous achievements, she won the gold medal in women’s 100-metre sprint at the 30th Summer University Games in Napoli, Italy and thereby becoming the first Indian to achieve the marvellous feat. She clocked 11.32s in the final. Now let’s take a moment to appreciate Dutee Chand for her epic achievement.
Early life: Dutee Chand was born on 3 February 1996 to her parents Chakradhar Chand and Akhuji Chand in the Jajpur district of Odisha. She is from economically backward sections of society. She is from a below poverty line weavers family.
For Chand, it was her elder sister Saraswati Chand who inspired her to the core in tough times. Saraswati Chand competed in running at a state level and she backed her young sister always. Dutee Chand’s beautiful venture sparked in 2012 when she became a national champion in the under-18 category when she clocked 11.8 seconds in the 100 metres event.
She ran like the wind and clocked 23.811 seconds to win the bronze in the Women’s 200 metres event at the 2013 Asian Athletics Championships at Pune. In the same year, she became the first Indian to seal the final berth of a global athletics 100 metres final in the 2013 World Youth Championships.
In the same year itself, she became the national champion in 100 metres and 200 metres when she clinched the events at 11.73 seconds in the final in 100 metres and a personal-best 23.73 seconds in 200 metres at the National Senior Athletics Championships at Ranchi.
She continued to dominate the sport as she won two gold medals in June 2014 at Asian Junior Athletics Championships in 200 metres and 4x400m relays. She actively took part at the 2016 Asian Indoor Athletics Championships in 60 metres and showcased her mettle in the qualification round where she made yet another Indian national record to her lofty standards of sprinting as she clocked 7.28 secs and went on to win the bronze medal in the final at 7.37 secs.
Dutee clocked 11.33 secs in women’s 100m dash to bag the gold beating the previous national record set by Rachita Mistry’s 16-year-old of 11.38 secs in the 2016 Federation Cup National Athletics Championships in the national capital.
Things didn’t go down too well for Dutee when she missed the Rio Olympics qualification of 11.32 secs by one-hundredth of a second. But, it was on 25 June 2016, Dutee beat the very same National record twice in a day after achieving at 11.24 secs at the XXVI International Meeting G Kosanov Memorial at Almaty, Kazakhstan and hence she qualified for the Olympic Games.
At Rio 2016 Olympics, she proved herself yet again as she became the third Indian woman to take part in Women’s 100 metres. In 2017, at Asian Athletics Championships she won two bronze medals, one in the Women’s 100-metre category, another in the Women’s 4×100 m relay with the likes of Srabani Nanda, Merlin K Joseph and Himashree Roy at Bhubaneswar.