Indian sprinter Dutee Chand on Monday resumed her training after a two-month break due to the coronavirus-enforced lockdown. The 24-year-old hit the track at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar. “I am thankful that tracks have been opened, we were sitting in our homes because of the lockdown. 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 is following all the necessary guidelines announced by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) in its Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the resumption of sporting activities in the country.
“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,” she added.
The forced break means that she will require at least two-three months to get back to her best.
“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 said.
After the postponement of the Olympics to next year, Chand has 13 months to board the Tokyo bound plane as the new qualification period deadline is June 29, 2021, and the International Federations can define their own qualification period deadlines prior to this date.
The revised final sport entries deadline has now been set at July 5, 2021.
“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,” the sprinter said.
This is the first time that the Olympics have been postponed, and now the event will be held from July 23- August 8 next year.
“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 concluded.