Jakarta: India's Dutee Chand scooped her second silver of the Asian Games on Wednesday, four years after she was dropped from the team due to her high testosterone levels – but said she lives in fear she could be made to "suffer" again.
Chand has hyperandrogenism, the condition that also affects South African middle distance star and Olympic champion Caster Semenya.
The Indian athlete won a court battle for her right to compete with her hormonal imbalance, and has achieved silvers in Jakarta in both the 100m and 200m –joining illustrious compatriots such as P T Usha in the list of athletes who have won more than one medal at the Asian Games.
The legendary Usha had swept four gold medals at the 1986 Seoul Games, winning 200m, 400m, 400m hurdles and 4x400m relay. Jyotirmoyee Sikdar (800m and 1500m) had also won two medals at the at 1998 Bangkok Games. Sunita Rani (1500m, 5000m) also returned with two medals from the 2002 Busan Games.
"God has given me a lot of trouble since 2014. I suffered a lot. Nobody could have suffered so much," said Chand.
"But I came back to give two medals to India. It will be a big celebration back home. Also, the Odisha government has announced big prize money for me. I already have a house, so I will use this money for my training," she added.
"It feels great to win two silver and that too with my personal best time in the semifinals. I was little tight today because I had given my all in the semifinal. I could not give my best (in the final race) but I have trained hard," Dutee said.
Bahrain's Edidiong Odiong took the gold with 22.96, ahead of Chand who had led until late but finished on 23.20.
Chand was dropped from the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games in 2014 after hormone testing.
Hyperandrogenism, the medical condition which causes women to produce high levels of male sex hormones, is controversial because it pits principles of fair competition against the rights of women born with the condition.
New rules say women racing between 400m and one mile can only compete if they take medication to reduce their testosterone levels – but short-distance sprinters like Chand were spared.
"My legal team helped me to come back," said Chand. "But nobody could guarantee what will happen in the future. Caster Semenya is still fighting.
"There is always fear but you need to overcome it."
Some Asian countries have 'imported' African athletes to improve their profile in athletics. Asked to comment on this issue, Dutee said she does not think about such matters.
"Anyone can come and compete, we can't stop anyone. Irrespective of the field, I just try to give my best and fight to my potential. I pushed really hard towards the end but the other girls had long strides, so she (gold winner) edged me out."
In the men's 200m Japan's Yuki Koike won a dramatic race in a photo-finish with Taiwan's Yang Chunhan.
The young Japanese athlete, expected to be in the shadow of Rio silver relay medalist and compatriot Shota Iizuka, finished strongly and took the gold with a well-timed lean, as Yang stumbled in his attempt to cling to his lead.
Both recorded times of 20.23 while Iizuka finished sixth.
"Iizuka has so much experience of competing at 200 metres and has had so many great results," said Koike, 23. "I just want to achieve what he has done."
Earlier, China carried forward its Rio 2016 success to win both golds in the 20km walks.
Wang Kaihau won a tight men's race, finally pulling ahead of Japan's Toshikazulate Yamanishi late on to win by six seconds.
In the women's event, China's Yang Jiayu and Qieyang Shijie stormed nearly five minutes clear of the pack for gold and silver at a joint Games record of 1:29:15 -- China's fifth consecutive win in the event.
India had three competitors across the two finals disqualified for illegally losing contact with the floor.
With inputs from Agencies
Updated Date: Aug 29, 2018 21:11 PM