N.Ramesh has played key role in the rejuvenation of Dutee Chand after she was banned for one complete year before the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Since then, the athletics coach at Sports Authority of India (Hyderabad) has revived Dutee and made her a top athlete, through relentless training and guidance spanning over the last 6 years.
The 23-year-old has now become the first Indian sportsperson to admit to being in a same-sex relationship. In a conversation with The Indian Express, Chand revealed that she has been in a relationship with the girl for the past three years.
While speaking to The Bridge on Sunday evening over phone, she said, “I have just expressed my desire. We know each other for a long time. My girlfriend is not directly associated with sports, but she loves the game so much and tries to inspire me always.”
Ramesh, on the other hand, wants to stay away completely from 100m record holder and two Asian Games silver medal winning sprinter’s latest announcement. Ramesh when contacted in Hyderabad, commented, “The most important thing is that it is her personal choice. She is an adult and is quite matured now to take her own life decisions. So I sincerely believe the decision is to be respected.”
Ramesh also added, “I have always tried to keep her focus only on athletics. I have always told her to do something for the country and make the nation proud. This apart, I never had any discussions on any other personal issues, not with only Dutee, but also with my other students.”
As per reports, Dutee had to face wrath from her family members after she made the information public based on her belief that she has the right to live her life the way she wants it. Her elder sister Saraswati Chand has asked her to leave their home in Gopalpur and also threatened her with a court case. Dutee, while speaking to The Bridge, said, “I feel it is temporary. My family members have stopped talking to me. But I am optimistic everything will be normal with time.”
?️ "I believe everyone should have the freedom to be with whoever they decide they want to be with"
— The Bridge (@TheBridge_IN) May 19, 2019
Dutee’s elder sister Saraswati was also a 400m international runner and a student of N Ramesh. Dutee however is not bothered on the issue that this news will affect her training and performance. Ramesh also agreed on the same. “Dutee is mentally so strong that this issue is unlikely to affect her. We have been already preparing for the World University Games scheduled in Italy in July,” he said.
Already aiming for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Dutee has set her first goal of earning Olympics and World Championship qualification. The qualifying mark for World Championship is 11.24s while qualification time for Olympics is 11.15s. “She will be focusing on 100m in the forthcoming international tournaments. Our aim is to run below 11.15s in the World University next month to earn qualification for the two mega events,” Ramesh concluded.