Bhubaneswar: Dutee Chand became the first Indian to win the 100-metre sprint gold Tuesday night at the 30th Summer University Games which is currently going on in Naples, Rome. The Odisha sprinter grabbed the yellow metal with a time of 11.32 seconds. It should also be mentioned here that no Indian had ever qualified for the final of the 100 metres in the history of the University Games before Dutee.
Dutee had qualified for the final with a time of 11.41 seconds in the semifinal earlier Tuesday morning and in the process of doing so had created history. Earlier Monday she had moved into the semifinals by winning her heats with a time of 11.58 seconds.
Dutee expressed satisfaction after becoming the first Indian athlete to win the gold in the 100 metres at the University Games. “I am happy to have achieved the feat of being the first girl ever to win gold for India in the World University Games. It wouldn’t have been possible without the support of KIIT and the Odisha government. Hence I dedicate this medal to KIIT University founder Achyuta Samanta and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for the support they provided me with during my bad days,” stated Dutee.
The silver medal went to Ajla Del Ponte of Switzerland, who came up with a late burst of speed to finish with a time of 11.33 seconds.
Dutee has a season’s best of 11.26 seconds in the 100-metre discipline, recorded at Doha in April 2019, and a personal best of 11.24 seconds. She is also a two-time Asian champion and the holder of the 100 metres national record. In the Asian Games last year Dutee had won silver in both the 100m and the 200m.