BHUBANESWAR: India's fastest woman Dutee Chand clinched gold in 100m dash while long distance runner Narendra Pratap Singh bagged his second title at Khelo India University Games here on Saturday. The 24-year-old Dutee, representing Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT), raced ahead to take a massive lead within no time.
With her competitors nowhere close to Dutee, the national record holder bagged gold with a timing of 11.49 seconds. The second best, Dhanalakshmi S from Mangalore University, clocked 11.99 seconds and Sneha SS from Mahatma Gandhi University clinched the bronze with a timing of 12.08 seconds. "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," Dutee said, having clocked 11.61 in the heats in the morning.
"This is the first meet for me in 2020. So the start of the year has been good. I will improve by 10-15 seconds in the next tournament. I am feeling very fit at the moment, however, I have to improve my speed now." Dutee, who bettered her own national record with a timing of 11.22 seconds at the National Open Athletics Championships last year, is chasing 11.15 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 said. She will take part in the 200 metres on the final day of the Games. G Kathiravan (Bharathidasan University) won the men's 100m final race in a photo finish with M Kartikeyan (Bharathiar University). Both clocked 10.68 seconds but Kathiravan was three-thousandth of a second faster than Kartikeyan.
In men's 5000m race, Narendra Pratap Singh of Mangalore University bagged the gold, his second of the Games after the 10,000m win. He broke his own 5000m university record in the process.
His time of 14:18:19 was almost 10 minutes faster than his teammate Adish, who finished second. It was also almost a minute quicker than the previous record that he himself had set at the Inter-University Games earlier this year.
"The 5k is my favourite event. Recovery was going to be the biggest challenge, and I was surprised by how good I felt today actually," said the 23-year old B.Com student.
"The next stop is the Federation Cup of course, but to be honest I am really looking forward to the Nationals later this year," he added. Punjabi University's Harmilan Bains added the 800m crown to the 1500m gold she won a day earlier. She won with a time of 2:06:40. Krishna Kumar (Mangalore University) won the gruelling decathlon event, scoring 6210 points over two days.
In Greco-Roman wrestling, Saddam Kasim Shaikh, who won 60kg class gold, 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) completed the top five. In the Saheed Nagar Stadium, Lovely Professional University's judokas won two gold medals. 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. (PTI)