29 February 2020
Bhubaneswar: Indian sprinting ace Dutee Chand came and stole the limelight on her first day of competition this year, winning the women’s 100m in a new Indian Universities meet record time of 11.49 seconds on the penultimate day of the inaugural Khelo India University Games at the Kalinga Stadium here on Saturday.
Her time was faster than the 11.56 clocked by N Simi (Mangalore University) in 2018, but Dutee Chand owns the Indian university all-time record with a time of 11.32 seconds in winning the World University Games gold last year.
“I was not expecting to go much faster in my first competition after the off-season. I am happy with the 11.49, though I would have liked to a sub 11.40 to begin with,” she said, having clocked 11.61 in the heats in the morning. She is chasing the Olympic qualifying standard of 11.20 seconds to secure a ticket to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
“The Corona virus and the resulting travel regulations make me unsure if I will get to compete in Europe. I guess I will have to seek the Olympic qualifying time in an Indian competition this season,” Dutee Chand said, sporting a wide grin as she walked to the warm-up track for a recovery session in preparation of the 200m sprint on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Greco-Roman wrestler Saddam Kasim Shaikh, who won 60kg class competition, was Savitribai Phule Pune University’s only gold winner on Saturday. And that helped his university take their gold count to 16 and stay ahead of a surging Panjab University (15). Punjabi University (10), Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak (9) and Jain University (8) complete the top five.
In the Saheed Nagar Stadium, Lovely Professional University’s judokas won two gold medals on Saturday to see their institution finish on top of the heap with three gold. Ritik (men’s +100kg class) and Anmol (women’s 78kg class) were the champions on a day when Deendayal Upadhyaya University and University of Delhi claimed one gold medal each.
Back on the athletics track, Narendra Pratap Singh (Mangalore University) and Jyoti (Panjab University) completed their respective long distance doubles, winning the 5000m gold on Saturday morning. Not to be left behind PO Sayna added the 400m Hurdles gold to the quarter-mile title won on Friday, with an all-India Universities record to boot.
Not long later, Punjabi University’s Harmilan Bains added the 800m crown to the 1500m gold she won a day earlier and made her athlete parents, Amandeep Bains and Madhuri Singh-Bains. She showed keen race tactics, first avoiding being bottled, then pulling away from the leader Ladkat Yamuna (Savitribai Phule Pune University) at the bell and cruising to victory.
Krishna Kumar (Mangalore University) won the grueling Decathlon, scoring 62