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GP Athletics: Dutee wins 100m, none could qualify for Olympics

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Patiala, Feb 18 (IANS) Odisha’s international sprinter Dutee Chand warmed up for a challenging season ahead by winning 100m dash in 11.51 seconds in the first Indian Grand Prix here on Thursday.

Although Dutee, whose personal best and national record is 11.24 seconds for 100m dash, missed this year’s Olympic Games qualification time of 11.15 seconds, she looks on course to book a ticket to Japan.

Racing after nearly 15 months, as the domestic calendar was cancelled due to the Covid pandemic, Dutee, Asian Games silver medallist in 100m and 200m, didn’t face any challenge from her rivals at Patiala’s National Institute of Sports (NIS), and maintained her winning streak in the domestic circuit.

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In January, 24 year old Dutee had planned to compete in a 60m track race at the Almaty Indoor international competition, but the event was cancelled at the eleventh hour because of Covid-19.

Odisha’s Amiya Kumar Mallick, national 100m record holder in the men’s event, finished third with a time of 10.89 seconds, behind Maharashtra’s Krishnakumar Satish Rane, who won gold in 10.68 sec, and second-placed Kerala’s Muhammad Anas Yahiya, a 400m specialist and national record holder, who clocked 10.70 sec.

“Since it was the season’s first race, I took it easy,” said Mallick.

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Rajiv Arokia, another 400m runner, competed in the 200m to warm up for the Federation Cup Athletics Meet, scheduled to be held from March 15 in Patiala.

Haryana’s Anjali Devi, who has been leading the 400m runner in the 2019 season, also competed in the women’s 200m. Her winning time was 23.57 seconds.

The women’s 400m race was won by seasoned Karnataka runner MR Poovamma. The 30-year-old clocked 53.45 seconds while the men’s 400m title went to P Naganathan of Tamil Nadu. Running in lane two, the Tamil Nadu runner pushed hard in the home stretch to post a time of 47.32 seconds.

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In most of the events in the one-day competition, the athletes’ performance was average as none of them were able to achieve Tokyo Olympics qualification time. In some events, like women’s discus and shot put, only three athletes competed.

–IANS

nns/qma

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