Dutee Chand: Defying All Odds
Dutee Chand became the first Indian after PT Usha in 1980 to qualify for the 100m event at the Olympics
Dutee is first Indian female in 36 years to qualify for Olympic 100m race
Dutee broke Rachita Mistry's 16-year-old 100m national record in 2016
Dutee's hyperandrogenism ban was overturned by CAS
It's what she does best, and is happiest doing. Running. But in 2014, Dutee Chand's world came crashing down. A medical test showed that the Odisha girl had more than permissible levels of testosterone in her body. She was dropped from the Commonwealth Games squad.
The medical condition, known as hyperandrogenism, was unknown to most. It was simpler to just label her a man. Just the previous year, she had become the first Indian to qualify for the 100m final of any global event, the Junior World Championships where she finished 8th.
Daughter of weavers from an Odisha village, who barely managed to make both ends meet, the ban kept Dutee away from the track for more than a year.
Not one to be bogged down, Dutee, with some help from the Sports Authority of India, took her case to the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS), where in a landmark judgement last year, her appeal was upheld, and she was allowed to resume training.
At the Federation Cup in New Delhi this year, Dutee shattered Rachita Mistry's 16-year-old 100m national record, clocking 11.33, but missed Olympic qualification mark by 1/100th of a second. But she achieved it soon enough, in June, clocking 11.30 seconds at the G Kosanov Memorial Meet in Almaty, Kazakhstan to become the first Indian after PT Usha in 1980 to qualify for the 100m event at the Olympics.
It's undoubtedly been an unbelievable sprint so far. But Dutee realises her petite frame is a disadvantage for her, and she will have to do tremendously well to bring to clock below 11 seconds in Rio.