The next inspirational woman we have is an athlete who was forced to sit out due to IAAF hyperandrogenism regulations. Ms. Dutee Chand is is an Indian professional sprinter and current national champion in the women’s 100 metres event.
Ms. Chand is the first Indian to win a gold medal in 100m race in a global competition. She is the third Indian woman to ever qualify for the Women’s 100 metres event at the Summer Olympic Games. However, in the 2016 Summer Olympics, her 11.69 s in the preliminary round did not qualify her for the next round. In 2018, Chand clinched silver in women’s 100m at the Jakarta Asian Games. It was India’s first medal in this event since 1998. In 2019, she became the first Indian sprinter to win gold at the Universiade, clocking 11.32 seconds in the 100 m race.
She is the reigning national champion in the 100 m event. Ms. Chand, who was once forced to sit out due to the IAAF hyperandrogenism regulations, qualified for the Women’s 100 m event at the 2016 Rio Olympics, 36 years after P. T. Usha took part in the 1980 Moscow Olympics. In 2016, she was appointed as the Assistant Manager, Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC).
Ms. Chand is also India’s first athlete to openly come out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, when she spoke about being in a same-sex relationship in 2019. Later that year, she signed up a two-year deal with sportswear brand Puma to endorse their products.
In 2013, she enrolled in the KIIT University to study law.
In 2019, she became India’s first ever openly queer athlete as she publicly stated that she is in a same-sex relationship, saying that the Indian Supreme Court’s decision to decriminalise gay sex in 2018 encouraged her to speak publicly about her sexuality, mentioning that she was in a same-sex relationship. Ms. Chand faced severe backlash from her home village after her announcement, whose residents disavowed her remarks and called them “humiliating”.
In 2017, at the Asian Athletics Championships she clinched two bronze medals, one in the Women’s 100 metres, another in the Women’s 4 × 100 m relay with Srabani Nanda, Merlin K Joseph, and Himashree Roy at Bhubaneswar.
At the 2018 Asian Games, in the Women’s 100 metres finals, Ms. Chand won the silver medal, her first Asian games medal, clocking 11.32 sec on 26 August. Again on 29 August, she bagged her second silver at the Asian games in the Women’s 200 metres final. Her silver in 100 m, was India’s silver medal in this category after 32 years since P.T.Usha won in 1986 and Chand’s first medal in the Asian games as she was banned in 2014 and her 200 m silver is after 16 years for India since Saraswati Saha’s gold in 2002 at Busan.
As she won these two medals after a long court battle, she expressed her concern about her future saying, “My legal team helped me to come back. But nobody could guarantee what will happen in the future.”
At the 2019 Summer Universiade in Napoli, Ms. Chand won gold in the 100m race, becoming the first Indian woman sprinter to win gold at the Universiade. She finished the sprint in 11.32 seconds.She was also the flag-bearer during the opening ceremony of the event.
Image Source: Times of India
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