Indian sprint star Dutee Chand was back on the track at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, as she resumed training following a two-month break due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown across the country.
"I am thankful that tracks have been opened, we were sitting in our homes because of the lockdown. It has taken its toll on my fitness, I have to work on it now and I have to work towards improving my fitness. There is no one here with me. I don't have my coach here, the government has opened the track after a long time so I am thankful," Chand told ANI.
Chand said she is following the Sports Authority of India (SAI) guidelines according to its Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the resumption of sporting activities.
"The guidelines issued by SAI has been given for players, coaches and all staff. Following social distancing is very important as a precautionary measure against the coronavirus. There is no high profile competition since December. We have been given the chance to train, we need to follow the government's guidelines," Chand said.
"I am having a lot of problems in running right now. I will take at least two months to come back to my best, right now I have to work on my body. I will need two-three months to work on my speed, I am trying my best to train to the best of my ability," Chand added.
Chand has her sights set on getting an Olympic quota after the qualification period deadline was moved back after the Tokyo Games' postponement, which means she has around 13 months in her hand.
"Preparations for the Olympics were going on, coronavirus disrupted my training plans, now the Olympics have been postponed to next year. I will try my best to qualify for the Olympics," Chand said.
"I would like to urge everyone to stay safe, I would like to tell every sportsperson to train to the best of our ability," she added.