Bhubaneswar: A number of track and field athletes are already thinking of returning to training with easing of restrictions during Lockdown 4.0. However, Odisha sprint queen Dutee Chand is a step ahead. Dutee Chand has already returned to training since Monday at the Kalinga Stadium. This was the first time Dutee Chand had trained on synthetic tracks in two months.
Back on track
Prior to the lockdown which was implemented March 25, Dutee went to Patiala to take part in the season-opening Indian Grand Prix. The event was scheduled for March 20, but got cancelled. Since her return, Dutee has more or less been confined to her room at the KIIT complex. However, she had been training in the gym once in a while.
“After two months, I am training outdoors. It is a very nice feeling to experience the air while running on the track. For a track athlete, there is no better feeling than this. At the same time I am also experiencing an unusual feeling,” Dutee said.
“Normally, there are a lot of trainees at the hostels inside the Kalinga Stadium complex. So the track is always full of people. However, now all are at home due to this pandemic. So, I am the only one training at such a big stadium. It is unusual, to experience this eerie silence,” added the Asian Games silver medallist in 100m and 200m.
Maintaining social distancing
Another top Odiya athlete, sprinter Amiya Kumar Mallick also trains at the stadium but only after Dutee ends her daily stint. This has been done to maintain social distancing between the two.
“I start training at 6.00am and wind up at 8.00am. He (Amiya) comes just before 8.00am. So, we hardly train together. In the evening, I do my second stint from 7.00pm. It lasts for an hour,” Dutee the 100m national record holder, said.
Warming up slowly
The reigning World University Games champion said as of now she is loosening up the muscles. Confinement for the last two months has affected the flexibility of here muscles. Dutee said it will take some time for her to start running at full speed on the track.
“The muscles are tight now, so I am just loosening them up. I have to wake up my muscles. It will take at least two months to be in full speed,” Dutee said.
“My coach (N Ramesh) is on video call during my training and he tells me what to do and I follow his instructions. The tougher training drills like the one kilometre repeat run will take some time. I cannot do it soon. If I do that I will get injured. Presently I do not have physio to help me out,” Dutee informed.
Dutee holds the national record of 11:22 seconds in 100m while the Tokyo Olympics qualification time is 11:15 seconds.
PNN & Agencies