Dutee Chand is an Indian professional sprinter. She is the first Indian to win a gold medal in the 100m race in international level competition. Dutee is also the third Indian woman to ever qualify for the Women’s 100m event at the Summer Olympic Games.
On 3 February 1996, Dutee Chand was born to Chakradhar Chand and Akhuji Chand. She spent her childhood in the Chaka Gopalpur village, Jajpur district of Odisha. Dutee came from a below poverty line weavers family.
Her older sister Saraswati Chand inspired her a lot. Saraswati is also an athlete and competed in running at the state level. Later, Chand and her elder sister Saraswati enrolled in a government sports hostel in 2006.
In 2013, she started studying law at KIIT University. Currently, she is an executive officer in the state PSU The Odisha Mining Corporation Ltd.
In 2019, she came out of the closet and announced she’s queer. Dutee is the first Indian athlete who has publicly stated that she is in a same-sex relationship. Chand had to go through a lot because of this announcement. The natives of the place she lived disavowed her remarks and called them “humiliating.” One of her significant inspirations for Dutee, her eldest sister, threatened to expel her from the family.
Career of Dutee Chand
In 2012, Dutee Chand became a national champion when she clocked 11.85 seconds in the 100m event.
Later during the 2013 Asian Athletics Championships, Chand won the bronze in the Women’s 200m event clocking 23.811 seconds. She became the first Indian to reach the final of a global athletics 100m race at the 2013 World Youth Championships. Also, she became the national champion in 100m and 200m, clocking 11.73 s in the final in 100m and a career-best 23.73 s in 200m at the NSA Championships at Ranchi.
After the hyperandrogenism rule changed, she took part in the 2016 Asian Indoor Athletics Championships in 60m. In the qualification round, she set the Indian national record, clocking in at 7.28 secs, and won bronze in the final, clocking a time of 7.37 secs.
Later on 25 June 2016, Dutee broke the National record twice after clocking 11.24 at the XXVI International Meeting G Kosanov Memorial at Almaty, Kazakhstan. “I am thrilled at the moment, it has been a tough year for me, and I am so happy that my coach and my hard work have paid off. I want to thank all the people in India who were praying for me to qualify. Your wishes have paid off.”
In the Rio 2016 Olympics, she became the third Indian woman to participate in the Women’s 100m, where she clocked 11.69 seconds.
After her major win in Rio, Chand trained in Hyderabad with young athletes like P. V. Sindhu. Also, Dutee is the first woman to represent India in the Olympics sprint event in 36 years.