Dutee Chand created history when she became the first Indian to win a gold medal in the women's 100-metre sprint at the 30th Summer University Games in Naples, Italy.Chand clinched the gold by clocking a remarkable time of just 11.32 seconds. Let’s take a look at her journey to the top!
Dutee Chand hails from Odisha and is one of 7 children born to Chakradhar Chand and Akhuji Chand. She came from humble beginnings with a family income of INR 3000 a month placing her family below the poverty line.
The heart of an athlete
An athlete at heart, in 2012 Chand began sprinting and emerged as a national champion in the 100-metre event with a phenomenal time of just 11.28 seconds.
Her first break
A year later in 2013, Chand got her break in the sports arena when she won a scholarship to a government school in Bhubaneshwar. She created a new record by becoming the first Indian to represent her country at the final of the IAAF World Youth Championships in the 100-metre event.
The same year she won two more medals at the 100-metre and 200-metre events at the 2013 National Senior Athletics Championships in Ranchi for her timing of 11.73 seconds and 23.73 seconds respectively.
Coveted Gold Medal
In 2014, Dutee Chand once again got India in the limelight by winning two of the coveted gold medals at the Asian Junior Championships in Taipei, Taiwan – an honour that had eluded India till then.
Later that year while she was training for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, she was banned from sports due to failing a ‘gender test’ that claimed she had abnormal levels of androgen hormone testosterone due to a condition called hyperandrogenism.
A fighter to the core, she refused to back down and decided to fight IAAF claiming that what she had was natural. Her battle drew in support not just locally but internationally as well and in 2015, she became the first athlete to win a case against IAAF .
A turnaround year
In 2016, Chand once again returned to her game and continued her tradition of smashing records. Her 60-metre sprint at the 2016 Asian Indoor Athletics Championships in Doha, saw her setting a new record with a time of 7.28 seconds.
The same year she won the silver medal at the Kosonov Memorial International Athletic Meet in Almaty, Kazakhstan with her time of 11.24 seconds in the 100-metre women event. She also got another gold to her name in New Delhi at the 2016 Federation Cup National Athletics Championships in the 100-metre sprint with a time of 11.32 seconds.
Another medal in the kitty
In another first, Dutee Chand competed at the Asian Games in 2018 in the 100 metre women’s sprint where she won the silver medal.
Recently, Chand made waves, not due to her athletic career, but when she came out to the world as a gay athlete and admitted to being in a same-sex relationship with a girl. Being India’s first openly gay athlete has got her a lot of positive reception for her courage and honesty.
Chand credits coach Nagpuri Ramesh and Pullela Gopi Chand as core supporters and proponents to her enormous success for their contributions towards her training.