Two of India's premier athletes have joined forces. The Rio Olympics 2016 silver-medallist PV Sindhu and fellow Olympian Dutee Chand now practice sprint training together, during the shuttler's off-court sessions, according to a report in the Hindustan Times.
Since Rio, Dutee has shifted her training base to Hyderabad, where she now trains with young athletes, most notable among whom is Indian badminton's shining beacon, PV Sindhu. The sprinter is glad to have the new training base and Sindhu as a companion. "It’s like a home away from home. There are lots of friends to gossip with,” she was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.
Dutee Chand had to face social boycott and ridicule from her fellow sprinters due to her possessing a greater amount of testosterone in her body than is permissible for a female athlete according to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). The condition, also known as hyperandrogenism, led to the IAAF banning in 2014 her from participating in all competitions. However, Dutee challenged the IAAF's decision and won the resulting case in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). Dutee then went on to set national 100m sprint records on multiple occasions, qualifying for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Despite being the first woman to represent India in the Olympics' sprint event in 36 years, Dutee was made to feel isolated due to her condition, because hyperandrogenic female athletes are considered 'cheats'.
"As I had no friends, I felt so lonely. During training sessions top athletes were reluctant to train with me. Off the field too, I was all alone. I had no one with whom I could share my thoughts," Dutee had told Hindustan Times when asked about her time at the National Institute of Sports in Patiala during the buildup to the Rio Games.
But with her new training base and partner, the coming year could be bigger and better for the athlete.
Updated Date: Dec 28, 2016 11:24:58 IST