BHUBANESWAR: The KIIT and KISS University on Sunday felicitated three athletes- Dutee Chand, Bhavani Devi and Shiv Pal - for making it to the Tokyo Olympics. Sports medicine doctor Sudeep Satpathy, who will accompany the Indian contingent, to the games was also felicitated.
Speaking at a function held on the university premises, Sports Minister Tusharkanti Behera wished Dutee and other athletes and said, “The Odisha government is ahead of other states in the country when it comes to supporting sportspersons. We have been hosting various international events and provide the players with infrastructure of international standards.” He said the state is going to host back-to-back Men’s Hockey World Cup in 2023.
Dutee, a student of KIIT University, thanked its founder Prof Achyuta Samanta for supporting her. “I would like to thank KIIT University and my godfather Prof Achyuta Samanta sir for providing me with all the support and helping me improve my performance due to which I qualified for two Olympics in a row (Rio and Tokyo). This time, I am the first athlete from India to qualify in two events-100 metres and 200 metres,” she said. Dutee confirmed her place for the games on the basis of her world rankings in the 100 and 200-metre events.
The athlete is ranked 47th in the 100-metre charts and 59th in 200-metres as of June 29. The rankings were enough to help seal a berth for her at the Tokyo Olympics. As many as 22 spots were available for 100 metre and 15 for 200 metre via the World Rankings route.”I am very proud that I am participating in an individual event for the second time. I represented India in the 2016 Rio Olympics in 100 metre and am going to participate in the 200 metre event for the first time,” said the prolific athlete.
Dutee said she will train at Kalinga Stadium here and proceed to Delhi on July 13 to join the national team. As per schedule, we will leave the country on July 21 for Tokyo. Due to the pandemic, our athletes' team will stay away from the Olympic Villa for a week,” she said and expressed her gratitude to the Central and State governments and the Athletics Federation of India. Bhavani Devi and Shiv Pal also expressed their gratitude to KIIT University and Samanta virtually.