Hyderabad: In a big boost to her career, sprinter Dutee Chand got the green signal from Athletics Federation of India (AFI) to run in 100 metres event in the World Athletics Championship, scheduled to be held in Doha from September 27 to October 6.
Although Dutee did not touch the qualifying timing of 11.24s in the recent meets, the IAAF has sent an invite to the Odisha sprinter based on her performances this year. She is presently ranked 88 in the world.
An elated Dutee said she was very happy that she got the opportunity to run with the elite athletes of the world. “I’m excited as I can compete and run in this big event. It is a God-send opportunity,’’ she said.
This year has been a big one for Dutee as she clocked in 11.26s in Doha and then became the first Indian to win a gold medal in World University Games (11.32s). “These performances have been a huge confidence booster for me. It makes me motivated.’’
Dronacharya awardee N Ramesh said Dutee was mentally prepared for the big event. “We knew that Dutee could get a chance to run and she was running in the last few competitions as every event had some points,’’ said the Hyderabad-based coach Ramesh, who trains Dutee at SATS Stadium in Gachibowli.
Ramesh said World Championship is a very, very tough event. “The World Championship will have the same strong field like the Olympics. Dutee has got one more opportunity to compete with the elite athletes of the world. Since Olympics will be next year, it will definitely be a big boost to her confidence. You can know where you stand. It will give her good experience for the Olympics. She can improve her timing as she will run with the top sprinters of the world.’’
Ramesh added that Dutee has grown in stature since last one year. “Winning the gold in World University Games was one of the spectacular achievements in Indian sport. That she became the first Indian to win a gold medal in the 75-year history of University Games is one of the great feats of Indian athletics. It has inspired many athletes to believe in themselves.’’
The coach said that they have to get into the World Championship mood. “Now that we got the green signal, we have to focus for the Worlds in all seriousness. We have to work hard. She can give an improved show. She has the ability to run much faster than 11.24s,’’ he said.
Ramesh said it has not been decided whether to train in Bhubaneswar or Hyderabad. “A decision will be made in a day or two.”