India’s ace sprinter Dutee Chand won will receive the Arjuna Award this year and she feels that the timing couldn’t have been any better with the Tokyo Olympics less than a year away. The sprinter is geared up for a second consecutive appearance at the Games, having featured in Rio, back in 2016.
Dutee Chand qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics 100m event, becoming only the third woman from India to feature in the event by breaching the qualifying standard of 11.32 seconds. Four years down the line, the competition has become more intense, with the qualifying standard for the event set at 11.15, even though her personal best read 11.22.
The Odisha-based athlete, who is set to receive the prestigious Arjuna Award this year, feels that the ‘prize’ came at the right time and will help her motivate to attain the Olympic qualification standard and book a ticket to Tokyo next year - even though it will be tough.
"The Award has come at the right time. Any recognition by the government for your performance and achievements always boosts the confidence of an athlete," said Dutee Chand, to PTI.
"This should give me more strength and confidence in my efforts to do well in the Olympics. I hope to qualify for my second Olympics in Tokyo next year and do my best there. It will be tough (to breach 11.15 secs) but I am confident to breach it. This award will give me the boost in my efforts,” added the sprinter.