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Inspired by Sarpanch Mother, India’s Sprint Queen Dutee Chand is Ready For Political Run

If I get a chance to help people as an administrator, I would readily do so, Dutee Chand said.

News18 Sports

Updated:September 23, 2019, 12:46 PM IST
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Inspired by Sarpanch Mother, India’s Sprint Queen Dutee Chand is Ready For Political Run
Olympian Dutee Chand is India’s first openly LGBTQ sportsperson.

New Delhi: India’s fastest woman Dutee Chand has announced her intention to enter the political fray, but says she is ready to wait till after her career as an athlete.

Chand, who holds the national record for the 100m sprint, tweeted: “I have always wanted to join politics since childhood. My family has also been involved in grassroots politics, with my mother being the sarpanch of our village,” she tweeted.

The 23-year-old, who earlier this year became the first Indian athlete to openly come out as an LGBTQ sportsperson and announce that she was in a same-sex relationship, also made a similar remark at an event in Mumbai.

She said she wished her coming out as gay would empower others, especially those from smaller towns. Despite the Supreme Court’s verdict decriminalising gay sex, society and popular discourse are all still dominated by a heteronormative view, something Chand wishes would change.

“If I get a chance to help people as an administrator, I would readily do so. But only after I finish my career as an athlete,” she added.

Currently, Chand’s focus is on reaching the finals of the women’s 100m dash at the World Championships starting in Doha on September 27 with a personal best timing.

She has been training at night to match her competition schedule in Doha and is determined to make amends for her disappointing performance in the last edition of the event in 2017 London.

“I hope to run my best in Doha, that is my target,” she said. “I could not reach the semifinals last time but I am hoping to reach the finals this time. It will not be easy but I will be really happy if I do that.”

At the 2017 London World Championships, Chand ran a disappointing 12.07 second in the heats and failed to reach the semifinals. She could not touch the Doha World Championships qualification mark of 11.24 seconds but her personal best effort of 11.26 seconds, which is also the national record, during the Asian Championships in Doha in April, ensured that she was among the maximum target number of competitors for the event.

“I am training at night these days around 7pm to 8pm to adjust to my race timings in Doha and my preparations are going well. Let us see what happens in Doha,” said the 23-year-old Odisha athlete.

Chand, who became the first Indian to win a 100m gold in a global event during the World University Games in July, has been training with her coach N Ramesh at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.

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