It was the the second time that Jawaharlal Nehru stadium witnessed sprinter Dutee Chand fall short of a major mark. Last year, during the Federation Cup, the Odisha girl missed the Olympic mark by 0.01 seconds, and on Monday the World Championship mark by 0.04 seconds. She wasn’t disappointed last time and so was the case this time around too.
The Federation Cup timings, in fact, instilled a confidence that she could breach the mark. And she did so later in Almaty, Kazakhstan with a fine run of 11.24 seconds. A gold medal effort of 11.30 s in the final leg of the Athletics Grand Prix is good indicator of what’s in store for Dutee. Merlin K Joseph, (11.72) and Himashree Roy (11.95) settled for the silver and bronze medals respectively.
“I have achieved my target for this competition. I will try to qualify in the Federation Cup,” she says. Going by how her season has started, the target seems very much achievable. Dutee, who had skipped the first two legs of the Grand Prix , had won the 100m bronze in the final leg of Asian Athletics Grand Prix in the last week of April. “Last time also this happened but I will qualify,” she muttered to herself while leaving the track.
Golden effort by Jisna
Just a week after finishing a close second to MR Poovamma, the country’s finest 400m runner, Jisna Mathew went a step further. At last leg of the GP she managed to outrun Poovamma and bag her first-ever senior gold medal. The diminutive athlete clocked 52.65 seconds, still some distance from the London mark, to win the gold. Poovamma managed 52.73 while Debashree Mazumdar settled for bronze with 53.69s on the clock.
“Beating Poovamma was not the goal but winning a silver medal. Now I will train her with Tintu and other runners who will push her harder. I am confident she will qualify for London,” PT Usha, her coach said.