Road to Rio: Dutee Chand, the girl who fought hyperandrogenism laws to reach the Olympics
Less than a year after the IAAF ordeal, Dutee Chand made it to the forthcoming Rio Olympics by breaking the national record twice.
Name: Dutee Chand
Discipline: Track and Field
Category: Women's 100m
Qualification: Dutee qualified for the Rio Games by clocking 11.30 seconds at 26th G Kosanov memorial meet in Almaty. She then ran 11.24 in the finals to win a silver medal , creating a new national record twice in a day.
Strengths: Dutee has been outstandingly consistent with her timing and performance, despite the time spent away from the sport.
Past Olympic performance: Debut
Past record (best performances): - At age 16, Dutee became the 100m national champion in the Under-18 category in 2012.
- In 2013, she became the first Indian athlete to qualify for the World Youth Championship finals. She also won the 100m title, recording a time of 11.73 seconds.
- Set a new national record in 60m, clocking 7.28 seconds at the 7th Asian Indoor Athletics Championships record.
- Broke two national records were broken in Women’s 100m in the Federation Cup National Athletics Championships.
Dutee Chand’s journey to the Olympics has been anything but easy.
In 2014, Dutee was pulled out from the Commonwealth Games squad due to having a higher level of testosterone than was permissible in a woman athlete, according to the International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF) hyperandrogenism laws.
Athlete’s who are slapped with the hyperandrogenism aren’t left with many options. They are either compelled to quit sports, or to undergo surgery and hormone-replacement therapy. Humiliation and intense scrutiny become part and parcel of these options.
But Dutee decided that these choices weren’t good enough for her and she challenged the IAAF regulation. The daughter of weavers from Odisha, managed to scrap the controversial IAAF regulation governing eligibility of females with naturally-occurring hyperandrogenism.
Less than a year after this ordeal, the premier woman’s sprinter qualified for the Rio Olympics by breaking the national record, not once but twice. Dutee will now be only the second Indian woman sprinter to compete in the Olympics after PT Usha.
Dutee’s relentless struggle has been a victory for women’s equality in sport. There’s no stopping her if she reflects the same fighting spirit in Rio this year.
With inputs from agencies
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