Bhubaneswar: Dutee Chand, Bhavani Devi and Shivpal Singh of KIIT University will represent India at the Tokyo Olympics slated to get underway from July 23. Overall, a total of four people including a doctor, will be part of the marquee event.
Dutee is the only participant from India who will take part in two events and also has the rare distinction of being the first woman sprinter from the country to have qualified for two consecutive Olympics.
The star sprinter will compete in the 100 and 200 meter races, CA Bhavani Devi in fencing and Shivpal in the javelin throw.
Similarly, Sudip Satpathy, a doctor at KIIMS Medical, will also be at the Olympics in the capacity of physio for the Indian men’s hockey team.
The three athletes and Dr Satpathy were honoured on Sunday in Bhubaneshwar.
The event was attended in person by Dutee, Satpathy, KIIT founder and Kandhamal MP Prof Achyut Samanta, Odisha Sports Minister Tushar Kanti Behera and Prof. Sasmita Samanta. CA Bhavani Devi, Shivpal and sports secretary Vishal Deb joined the event virtually.
Dutee is currently studying law while CA Bhavanidevi and Shivpal are pursuing BBA from KIIT University.
“This Olympics experience will be different than all sporting events before due to the pandemic restrictions. Earlier there was a different aspect of togetherness when we could easily meet and share our experiences, and learn from top players, coaches, legends of the sports hailing from all around the globe, but we will miss all those this time around but I expect that I can fully concentrate on my own game and win something for India,” Dutee said.
Recently, Odisha government nominated Dutee for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, the country’s highest sporting honour.
“Dutee Chand’s fitness and confidence levels are quite high. Recently, she set the national record which is a direct result of her hard work, so I expect she will do best (at Olympics),” said Achyut Samanta.
Tusarkanti Behera promised that the state government will provide all support to the four members to excel at the Tokyo Games. “I congratulate all the four member. Odisha government will extend all possible support for them to perform at their best levels,” Behera said.