Dutee Chand won the gold medal in the women’s 100-metre sprint at the 30th Summer University Games in Naples, Italy on Tuesday, clocking a time of 11.32 seconds. This is India’s first gold medal at this edition of the meet. This is also the first time an Indian has won a 100-metre gold at a global event.
#Breakingnews– Dutee Chand @DuteeChand become first Indian sprinter to win Global event title when she blasted out of block to lead women 100m run from start to finish in 11.32s @afiindia #Indianathletics #fisu #universiade2019 #napoli2019 pic.twitter.com/k0Um712JuZ
— Rahul PAWAR (@rahuldpawar) July 9, 2019
Speaking to The Indian Express from Naples after her win on Tuesday night, Dutee said, “I am happy to become the first girl ever to win gold for India in the World University Games. I dedicate this medal to my university KIIT, its founder Professor Samantaji, who has stood by me during my bad days, the people of Odisha and CM Naveen Patnaik for all his support.”
The silver medal in the 100-metre sprint was won by Ajla Del Ponte of Switzerland, who came up with a late burst of speed to finish with a time of 11.33 seconds.
Dutee qualified for the final with a time of 11.41 seconds in the semifinal earlier on Tuesday, which was in itself a path-breaking feat. No Indian had qualified for the 100-metre final in the history of the University Games before this.
On Monday, she had moved into the semifinals from the heats with a time of 11.58 seconds.
Pull me down, I will come back stronger! pic.twitter.com/PHO86ZrExl
— Dutee Chand (@DuteeChand) July 9, 2019
Dutee has become only the second Indian sprinter to win gold at a global event. Hima Das, who won gold in the World Junior Athletics Championships last year, had been the first.
“The immediate aim is to prepare for the Doha World Championships later this year. My focus will be on the 100-metre race,” Dutee said on Tuesday.
Dutee has a season 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 a two-time Asian champion and the holder of the 100-metre national record.
India have traditionally returned with a modest medal haul from the biennial World University Games, the biggest multi-sport event on the planet after the Olympics. In recent years, only Inderjeet Singh (shot put) won a gold medal in the 2015 edition. In 2013 and 2017, India won one silver medal each.