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Confident of breaking relay record in CWG: Dutee

The Odisha sprinter is the first Indian to win a gold medal in the 100m dashes in a global competition.

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New Delhi: India’s ace sprinter and reigning 100m national record holder, Dutee Chand, is hopeful of setting a new India record in the 4x100m relay event at the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, the UK.

Dutee, Dhanalakshmi Sekar, Hima Das, Srabani Nanda, MV Jilna, and NS Simi will be representing India at the Birmingham Games later this month.

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“The record for 4x100m is 43.37 (India record). I am confident that we will break the record this time as the four of us have performed really well lately and our training is also going on in full swing.

“If we clock 42.90 then we will be in contention for a medal and we are hopeful that the team will perform better in Birmingham,” Dutee told UNI at the ceremonial send-off for Birmingham-bound athletes.

At the Indian Grand Prix IV last year, the women’s team of Archana S, Dhanalakshmi, Hima, and Dutee scripted the Indian record with a timing of 43.37. At the same meet, Dutee made a new national record in 100m clocking 11.17 seconds.

The 26-year-old athlete, however, expressed her disappointment over the postponement of the Asian Games as she is doubtful whether her body will be ready to take the longer route next year.

She said sports is something that gives you time but sometimes your body doesn’t support you to fight longer.

“I am 26 now and will be 27 next year at the time of Asiad. I am not sure my body will take that long route but I will try my best to perform well at the next year Asian Games and World University Games.

“If the Games happened this year I would have performed better as I did really well this year. Next year I will try all my best to do well and bring laurel for the country,” Dutee said.

The Odisha sprinter is the first Indian to win a gold medal in the 100m dashes in a global competition.

In the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Dutee clinched silver in women’s 100m which was India’s first medal in this event since 1998. She also bagged a silver medal in the 200m race.

In 2019, she became the first Indian sprinter to win gold at the Universiade, clocking 11.32 seconds in the 100m race with a timing of 11.32. She also added another Asian championships bronze medal by finishing third in the 200m event.

Speaking about the young generation of athletes she said: “A lot of young athletes are inspired by my performance on the global stage and also have delivered well at different athletics meets.

“When I started I was told that there was nothing in 100m go for 400m you will get a chance to go to Olympics in the relay. But I stood strong and continued with 100m discipline and I had promised myself that I will bring a medal to international competitions.

“Since 2012, I have focused on 100m events, starting from 12.5 seconds I have reached to 11.17 seconds. I have competed at various international events like Asian Games, Olympics, Asian championships, etc.

“I am sure that the coming generation will focus more on 100 and 200m discipline,” she said.

The ace sprinter believes that the current women’s athletics team is doing great and they will become even stronger in the coming time. She said: “After a month you will see a massive improvement in their performance.”

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