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Dutee Chand begins season with 100m gold at national inter-university championships

Dutee Chand clocked 11.44 seconds but needs to improve to meet qualifying standards for Commonwealth and Asian Games 2022.

Ace Indian sprinter Dutee Chand began her 2022 season by winning the 100m gold at the national inter-university women’s athletics championships at the KIIT-KISS Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday.

Dutee Chand, who recorded the women’s 100m national record of 11.17 seconds in Patiala last year, clocked 11.44 seconds – the meet record – to outrun second-placed Preeti by 0.22 seconds. Narale Avantika (11.76 seconds) finished third.

However, Asian Games 2018 silver medallist Dutee Chand will need to run faster to meet the qualifying standards for Commonwealth and Asian Games scheduled later this year.

Dutee Chand, who represented KIIT University at the meet, will have to clock 11.20 and 11.42 seconds to meet the Commonwealth and Asian Games 2022 qualifying standards, respectively.

Dutee Chand, 26, endured a difficult outing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics as she fell short in the women’s 100m and 200m races.

Meanwhile, Priya Mohan, who is quickly becoming India’s best prospect in the 400m run after Hima Das’s switch to the shorter races, clocked 52.58 seconds to win gold and better her personal best by 0.21 seconds.

Priya Mohan was followed by Rupal (53.05 seconds), who won the under-18 400m nationals last year. Florence Barla (53.51), meanwhile, finished third.

Priya Mohan, 18, had narrowly missed out on a bronze at the World U-20 Championships in 2021.

The Athletics Federation of India’s (AFI) 2022 season will begin in New Delhi on February 26 with the first Indian Open throws meet.

The season opener will be followed by the Indian Open jumps competition, Indian Grand Prix 1 and 2 in March, and Federation Cup in April.

By Ali Asgar Nalwala

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