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  • Dutee Chand laments lack of competition as Indian GP fails to provide tough test to athletes

    first_imgWith many major names of Indian athletics missing out, the Indian Grand Prix V held in Patiala on Friday predictably turned out to be a dull affair as none of the athletes were close to the qualifying standards set for the World Championships in Doha next month (September 28 onwards).Despite the fact that most star athletes are training abroad ahead of the Worlds, some athletes were expected to spring a surprise at the Patiala meet (with 17 track and field events for men and women athletes) as just 20 days were left to qualify for the Doha competition. That coupled with last-minute participation of sprint star Dutee Chand in the event -who failed to make it for a couple of European events this week due to a passport issue – added some much-needed excitement to IGP V.However, a pale show of 11.42 seconds in 100m -(0.18sec slower of Worlds qualifying standard) meant the dash runner will have to pin all her hopes on Inter State Athletics Championships in Lucknow from August 26 onwards to qualify.Speaking to Mail Today after her solo run, which only saw her competing with two runners in Tamil Nadu’s S Archana (11.53) and Punjab’s Manvir Kaur (12.28), Dutee rued the lack of competition in Patiala.”It was disappointing competition wise as my competitors had no pace to challenge me. I was earlier supposed to compete with European runners in Ireland and Germany this week where I would have got faced runners clocking close to 11.00 seconds, so I trained accordingly, that’s why I came here so that I could at least see some competition,” the 23-year-old Odisha runner said.advertisementShe further added that lack of runners in her event meant she only got one race to compete in with no heats to run in which didn’t allow her to get the best out of her.”I could have done better if I got some heats to run in as it would have allowed my body to be better prepared for the final race but as there was just three of us, heats were out of question,” Dutee explained.Among other star attractions, M Sreeshankar managed to achieve his personal best of the season with 8 metre jump, that came from his first jump of the day. The 20-year-old national record holder – who has already qualified for the Worlds – rued the fact that having just six athletes to compete with, his jumps came to frequent for his liking and kept him away from his best.Many other events too – mostly women’s – saw grim turnout as shot put saw Paramjot Kaur compete alone with a pale 14.36 best throw. Apart from that, women’s discus throw saw just two participants competing, while the 400m, in absence of Hima Das & Co. currently training in Poland, saw just five runners in fray.Men’s 400m, on the other hand, saw most participants as 15 runners scorched the track that included Kunhu Mohammed and Jithu Baby, who are regular members of the Indian 4x400m relay team. But 400m hurdles, with Dharun Ayyasamy and MP Jabir away in Poland, saw just four runners compete.AFI secretary CK Valson said while the turnout of athletes was not surprising, as rescheduling the meet (from Chennai on September 1) was done keeping in mind that it was just after the inter-state, giving athletes virtually no time for IGP 5. He added the event wasn’t a failure as it was a preparatory event for the Inter-states ahead.Also See:last_img read more