The last two weeks have been nothing but tough for star sprinter Dutee. She had to endure to win her due spot to represent the nation at the Olympics for the 2nd attempt after proving her mettle both on and off the racecourse. And it was her national record-breaking 11.17 seconds in the Indian Grand Prix in Patiala, held at the end of June, that helped her secure a spot in the Tokyo Games.
This was 0.02 seconds slower than the Olympic provisional qualifications standard, but it was still quick enough even to put her in 44th place in the current global 100-meter rankings. It has now permitted her to compete in the 200-meter dash, where she is presently ranked 51st. The Arjuna awardee, who is currently preparing for her upcoming matches in Hyderabad, Telangana, says she avoids social media because it puts unnecessary pressure on sportsmen. “Normal dekhe toh koi pressure nahin hai. Par social media Instagram,
Twitter pe jaayenge toh zyada pressure hai (laughs). Koi bolta hai ‘Dutee yeh nahin kar payega’, toh koi bolta hai ki ‘Dutee ke upar hope hai, medal layega’. Yeh sab zyada time dekhenge toh mental harrasment ho jayega! Main isliye zyada time nahin dekhti,” she says.Whether it was a delay in Olympic qualification or a pandemic, the 25-year-old believes nothing of these things could stop her. She explains, “Covid mein training bahut affect Hua. Out of country competitions, aur training ke arrangement Kar rakhe they [but couldn’t go].
Mera Germany mein teen month training and competition tha, jo Covid-19 situation ki wajah se cancel ho gaya. Jitna improvement hona tha body mein woh nahin ho paaya. Baaki India mein lockdown mein track, gym sab band ho Gaya. Morale bhi down ho gaya soch ke ki Olympic toh hoga nahin, phir kyun training Karen. Bahar bhi jayenge toh Covid ka saamna karna padta tha. Darr tha man mein; issi darr ki wajah se coaches, physiotherapist nahin aate they. Koi running partner bhi nahin tha. But maine situation ko face kiya, (ye sochke) ki Olympics mein jana hai. Struggles humesha yaad rehta hai, par hum koshish karte hain aur better karne ka.”
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