Dutee Chand- from unattended to the most sought-after

By Disha Pawar

When you are young and able, the world is your oyster. But in trying times, you are on your own and nobody’s yours.

The quicker you realize the truth, the lesser you suffer in future. Such was perhaps the plight of the second fastest Asian woman, Dutee Chand, who India so lovingly dots on today, while she was on the cusp of sinking to the bottom of her briefly successful career with not one anchor to hold on to. India had almost lost its future champion, because why would anyone risk jumping onto a sinking boat?

It was 2014, when Dutee was ruled out of the draws ahead of Commonwealth Games and Asian games due to high levels of testosterone in her body which was in breach of the International Association of Athletics Federation’s (IAAF) guidelines and which overnight also allegedly made her less of a woman and more of a man, with no scientific backing in the track field events, whatsoever.

I wonder why nobody else finds it aching or annoyingly repetitive to read news after news, year after year of athletes saying they could have done better had they received more government support. While the authorities may be content with a podium finish, the athletes definitely are not, for nobody aspires to be the second best.




“I think my lack of medals at the big stage was one of the main reasons why I was not provided with the facilities and exposure like other big athletes had. Now that I have done something which only PT Usha did before in India, I think the government will show more faith in my abilities to do more for the nationâ€�, Dutee said after her historic silver after her 100m feat.

Gold medallist and World record holder in Javelin Throw Neeraj Chopra and two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar were sent overseas for the preparatory camp ahead of the Asiad along with a few other athletes and such privilege was unfortunately limited to only those who according to the authorities were bright medal prospects.

Reports like these take us back to a media interaction where Indian Football Captain Sunil Chhetri said, “India recognizes a player only when he/she wins a medal and not before, never during his/her struggling days. So the less-fortunate ones who for some or the other reason cannot make a mark never get recognized, appreciated or rewarded.�

This statement strikes a chord with Dutee’s current status who only recently joined the exclusive league of Indian athletes to win two individual medals at the Asiad.  The authorities had forgotten her and her achievements at the U-18 and Youth Championship tournaments during the two-year battle with the IAAF leaving Dutee at the mercy of her well-wishers in the form of coach N Ramesh and Badminton guru Pullela Gopichand who not only gave her place in his badminton academy to train but also ensured she got the best meals on par with other athletes.

Dutee may be a few years late to the party but with her double celebration at the Asiad, she has finally announced her arrival into the world of athletics. Make way, as the Konark Express has taken off, only to not come to a halt soon.



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Source: Matchday Frolics

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