Bhubaneswar: Sprint queen Dutee Chand, who bagged silver medals in women’s 100m and 200m at the Asian Games in Jakarta, was given a rousing welcome on her arrival at the Biju Patnaik International Airport here, Friday. Late on in the evening she was felicitated by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the state secretariat here.
A large number of people comprising mostly of KIIT and KISS students, were at the airport to welcome the Odisha sprint icon. Dutee was accompanied from the airport by KIIT and KISS officials, including Achyuta Samanta, the founder of KIIT and KISS. City mayor Ananta Narayana Jena was also there at the airport.
Speaking to media persons, the Jajpur girl said that she is happy with her performance. “I’m extremely happy that I could come up with two medals. Asian Games is a big event which comes in every four years. So I’m quite happy.”
She also thanked the state government for backing her and supporting her. “I am grateful to my supporters who have backed me always. I would also like to thank the Odisha government for their support,” said Dutee, who went to Secretariat to meet Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik soon after her arrival.
At the airport, KIIT and KISS students were there with bouquets, flowers as well as with a band to welcome the state star. “We are here to welcome Dutee Chand. She made the state as well India proud with her feats,” said an elated student, who was holding a poster ‘Congratulations Dutee’ written on it.
Later on the evening, Dutee met the CM at the Secretariat where she was handed a cheque of rupees three crore (Rs 1.5 crore for each medal). Patnaik has also announced that the state government would bear her expenses for her training in view of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Earlier in the day at a felicitation programmed organised by KIIT in New Delhi, the sprinter had said that her next goal is to run 100m in sub-11 seconds. “If I can achieve that then I will be able to qualify for the 100m finals at the Tokyo Games,” Dutee said.