We all have flaws. We have medical ailments. We also have different compositions when it comes to genetic and hormonal makeup. So did Dutee Chand. But was that reason enough for her going through a harrowing experience is something that one needs to ponder over. Rising like a phoenix from the ashes, Dutee has made a remarkable comeback. While she has made it to Rio 2016, her story is one where firm grit and determination helped her hold on to her nerves.
Last two years for Dutee Chand have been nerve wracking so to speak. At a point Dutee lacked the required trust on any and everybody. She thought ten times before accepting any food or water from people. She suffered a major persecution complex because of her past. Life was not fine. Her very identity was being questioned by one and all. Having risen from a humble background, Dutee though knew how to hold her own. Hailing from Gopalpur, Odisha she had been no stranger to battles.
Dutee reportedly emulated the legendary PT Usha’s feat 36 years ago in sealing a berth in a track and field event – the 100m. The Payyoli Express did not have to qualify to feature at the 1980 Moscow Olympics.
Performing under tremendous pressure and a scenario where it was a do or die for her, Dutee clocked 11.30 seconds in the heats at the 26th G Kosanov Memorial Meet in Almaty, Kazakhstan. She further broke her own national record of 11.33secs, set at the Federation Cup. Beating her own records she took just 11.24secs to win a silver medal in the finals in Almaty.
It was only two years back that Dutee Chand’s glorious days took a big hit when she got diagnosed of hyperandrogenism. This way she was deemed unfit to compete in Rio.
While life for her was tough, she chose to fight it out in the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland. In a landmark judgment which is now a case study for world athletes, Dutee’s eligibility to compete as female was restored.
Dutee has been in scintillating form ever since her return. Maintaining her dominance in the domestic circuit she has impressed one and all overseas as well. Dutee Chand is the 20th Indian track and field athlete to have qualified for the Rio Games.
India is not alien to such cases. Dutee’s case is a reminder of another Indian athlete, Santhi Soundarajan, who lost the silver medal at the 2006 Doha Asian Games. Santhi felt humiliated, went into depression and even attempted suicide.
While Dutee Chand lost out on support in India missing out on Commonwealth and Asian Games, athletes like South African Caster Semenya got supported whole-heartedly. Semenya failed a gender test post winning the gold medal at the 2009 World Championships. She was eventually allowed to keep her medal and prize money.
Dutee Chand told reporters – “This is the ultimate dream. I could not have asked for a better moment in my life than making it to the Rio Olympics.”
Call it a trick of fate or destiny, Dutee earlier told reporters she received a raw deal. Despite her fervent pleas to Sports Ministry and the Athletics Federation of India she was not sent abroad for training due to lack of trust.
Androgens are a sex hormone. Among these is testosterone.
Typically, men and women have a different range of testosterone, but some women have it much higher than usual. This is known medically as hyperandrogenism.
A key cause of hyperandrogenism is androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS). It occurs when an embryo is born XY (male) but resistant to male hormones.
The best timings in the women’s 100m this season are around the 10.80s mark. While all eyes are on Dutee, the athlete is already a winner for all Indians.