Exclusive || Shooting, javelin and boxing have better chance to win medals than, track and field: Sprinter Dutee Chand ahead of CWG 2022

A Majestic Indian sprinter Dutee Chand is all geared up to outsmart her opponents to achieve the desired glory at the upcoming 2022 Commonwealth Games. The multi-sport event is slated to begin from July 28 and will conclude on August 8.

An ace sprinter, who is also a national record holder with figures of 11.17 seconds will begin her CWG 2022 campaign in the 4 * 100 women’s relay along with Hima Das, Srabani Nanda, Dhanlakshimi Sekar, MV Jilna and NS Simi. Out of the six sprinters, four will make the cut for the final relay and as the competition is getting intense, Dutee Chand is bracing up for the contest.

In a candid conversation with The Quotes, the 26-year-old sprinter opened up about her preparation, challenges and expectations from the marquee event. Excerpts of the conversation.   

Q] Commonwealth Games 2022 is a fortnight away. You will be teaming up with some quality sprinters like Hema Das, Dhanlakshmi and Srabani Nanda and others. How’s the preparation going on and what are your expectations from the Games?

Answer: We are doing our best. Every member is touching the timing of 11.2/11.3 seconds which guarantees a medal at the Games. We are currently training at Lakshmibai National College for Physical Education, in Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram. We are constantly working on our fitness, health and trying to maintain the figure close to 11 seconds. We have been provided the guidance of national level coaches, foreign coaches and my personal coach is also there to keep a tap on everything I am doing.  

Q] You have admitted Jamaican and Australian athletes as a stronger contenders in CWG. How’s the team preparing to tackle that challenge?

Answer: Honestly speaking our preparation is not aiming towards any particular contingent. We are just focusing on our act and trying to clock better timings. We are also prioritizing our health and fitness. Our coaches have strictly told us to keep fitness on priority.  

Q] You are a national record holder. You have been the flag-bearer in the 100m sprint. How does it feel to represent the nation in such a marquee tournament?

Answers: I feel honoured and privileged to be a part of such a quality-team. I could not be thankful enough to the selectors. Earlier, 100m was not my priority but in the 2013 World Cup, I qualified for the finals in 100m. I improved a lot throughout this period.  

Q] What is the significance of fitness for an athlete? Kindly share the contribution of Sports Authority of India in preparing athletes for the Games.

Answer: SAI has taken care of every minute details for us, they have provided us with the best coaches, dietician, physios and even the academy has the best infrastructure. The current government has worked relentlessly to improve the infrastructure for athletes and is constantly working to prosper the future of athletes. Earlier a lot of athletes used to quit the game but the current environment has shown some positive approach. Schemes like Khelo India have worked progressively towards bettering the situation and condition of athletes.  

Q] Despite a lot of struggles and challenges your focus towards your game remained intact. Kindly let the readers and young athletes know how they can overcome all sorts of challenges and focus on their game.

Answers: Motivation and support is very important for any human being. I was lucky enough that I was supported by my family and friends. There are athletes in rural areas who are still struggling to overcome various challenges in their life. Hard work, sheer dedication and also, they follow a strict time table. We can have several gold medallists if we start conducting training camps or workshops in rural areas.  But I would like to mention here that in some areas work is being done in collaboration with government and private entities. I would like to convey to young athletes to keep on working hard every day, every morning and every hour. Your day will come soon. Have faith.

Q] What are your expectations from the Indian contingent in the Commonwealth Games 2022. According to you, in which categories can we bag medals?

Answer: We have strong possibilities of bagging several medals. Games like shooting, badminton, hockey, swimming, boxer, javelin throw etc. have great chances of bringing medals for the nation. But I am sceptical of winning medals in racing as I am unaware of weather conditions in Birmingham. I feel running has a comparatively less chance of winning medals in the Games.   

Q] Who has been your inspiration in your life?

Answers: I have been my own inspiration. I have and will overcome many difficulties and challenges. I talk to myself and keep inspiring myself.

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