Sprinter Dutee Chand, whose suspension owing to 'hyperandrogenism' was lifted by the CAS in July, will be competing at the 55th National Open Athletics, starting in Kolkata on Wednesday. This will be the athlete's first competition after she got a reprieve from a highly controversial gender case. (Dutee Chand cleared by CAS)
The sprinter from Odisha was cleared by the Court of Arbitration (CAS) for Sport in July to compete in national and international events, after challenging world body of the sport IAAF's policy on 'hyperandrogenism'. The CAS has suspended the 'hyperandrogenism' rule and has asked the IAAF to provide fresh evidence that it gives undue advantage to the respective athletes. If the IAAF cannot provide any evidence, the rule will be scrapped.
The 19-year-old, who bagged the 100m and 200m gold in the National Open in Ranchi two years ago, missed out on the last edition in Delhi due to the ban. She would look for a fresh start after overcoming the gender controversy.
The competition will also see Olympics-bound trio Inderjeet Singh, Lalita Babar and Tintu Luka in action. It will be a big opportunity for other top athletes to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
With country's top athletes in their roster, heavyweights Railways and Services once again expected to dominate the show, even as states like Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab will look to have their share of medals.
The four-day event, which will have competitions in 44 events in men's and women's sections, will see more than 900 athletes from across 28 states and eight Boards in actions.
Railways also boast of the duo of Lalita and Tintu who have already made the cut for next year's Rio Olympics. After breaking a third national record in two years in 3000m steeplechase, reigning Asian champion Lalita will be fresh from her best effort of 9:27.86 in the World Athletics Championships in Beijing.
The 26-year-old Maharashtra athlete's timing has put her among the best 20 in the world and she would look to keep the Railways flag high.
Legendary PT Usha's protege Tintu had crashed out of the first round of heats in the women's 800m in Beijing last month with a seventh place finish, but her timing of 2:0.95 seconds was enough to make Rio cut.