Dutee Chand bags 2nd gold, still in search of Rio berth

Taoyuan City (Taiwan): Promising sprinter Dutee Chand bagged her second gold by winning the women's 200m race in a clean sweep of medals by the Indians at the Taiwan Open Athletics Championships here yesterday.

Dutee Chand
Dutee Chand

Dutee clocked 23.52secs in the 200m sprint final to win the gold while compatriots Srabani Nanda and H M Jyothi picked up the silver and bronze in 23.55secs and 23.92secs respectively. The trio were part of the Indian quartet that set a national record in women's 4x100m relay at the IAAF World Challenge in Beijing on May 18.

The women's relay team, however, could not repeat the Beijing show here in Taiwan yesterday as they were disqualified in the heats after a botch up in the baton exchange. Dutee had won a gold in the women's 100m dash here yesterday in a slow time of 11.50secs, thereby failing to qualify for Rio Olympics, for which she needed to touch 11.32secs.

In the Federation Cup National Athletics Championships in New Delhi last month, Dutee had run 11.33secs in 100m dash, raising hopes of a Rio Games berth in the coming days. Today's 200m timings of both Dutee and Srabani were below their 23.34 and 23.36 (heat timings) efforts in New Delhi. Meanwhile, the other Indians in the fray came up with disappointing performances today, raising questions why they have been sent at all outside India at a time when athletes are seeking Olympics qualifications.

Kirpal Singh Batth hurled 58.20m to win gold in the men's discus while compatriot Arjun was second with 55.50m, in an event which has Olympic qualification standard of 65m. Former national record holder Om Prakash Karhana continued to disappoint with a mediocre performance of 17.85m to bag the silver in men's shot put. The Olympic qualification standard in this event is set at 20.50m. Karhana has a personal best of 20.69m, which he did in 2012.

In men's triple jump, Arivu Selvam Devendran won the bronze with an effort of 15.62m. The Olympic qualification standard in this event is set at 16.85m.

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