Faster, stronger than at Rio: Dutee

Focus was on technique and fitness, says coach

Sprinter Dutee Chand wound up her Olympics preparation, under SAI athletics coach N. Ramesh, with focus on starting technique, acceleration and finish.

“We focused on the usual fear of slipping when you are off the

blocks and how to overcome it,” Dutee told The Hindu after a training stint at the Gaudium Sportopia.

She and coach Ramesh leave for Tokyo on Friday.

“Also, the 24×7 presence of physio Subash Pal (who was with the Indian boxing squad) helped me a lot. I can say I am much stronger and faster now than I was at the 2016 Rio Olympics,” Dutee said.

She expects to put up a much improved show in Tokyo. “Much better than all the timings I have clocked in India or Asia till recently,” the 25-year-old said.

“Who knows, if I have two good days on the track anything can happen,” she said.

Coach Ramesh said the emphasis had been on fitness in the last two weeks.

Timely assistance

“At this stage, we just try to focus on Dutee’s strengths. The best part was that Dutee could run with athletes like Youth Asiad medallists Srinivas, Deepthi and Harika. The intensity in preparations was certainly different,” Ramesh said.

Their target was to improve upon the 11.70s she clocked at the Indian Grand Prix in June. “Need some luck too to realise her ultimate goal — an Olympic medal,” he concluded.

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