What happens when two of the best sprinters of India go toe-to-toe against each other? Speculations are ripe with two of India's most celebrated female sprinters Dutee Chand and Hima Das to contest at the the Women's 100m sprint in Indian Grand Prix 2 at NIS Patiala on 25th February 2021.
The Athletics Federation Of India on Monday tweeted:
Entry list suggests a contest between @DuteeChand & @HimaDas8 in Women's 100m sprint in Indian Grand Prix-1 #IGP2021 at NIS Patiala on 25th February 2021 Entry list on http://indianathletics.in shortly.
— Athletics Federation of India (@afiindia) February 22, 2021
Earlier last week, Dutee Chand sprinted to victory in women's 100m at the season-opening Indian Grand Prix - I. It was the first national-level track and field meet for seniors since the National Open Athletics Championships in Ranchi in October 2019. However, despite the long gap and Tokyo Olympics qualification in line, several top athletes - Hima Das, Jinson Johnson, shot putter Tajinder Pal Singh Toor, quarter-miler V.K. Vismaya to name a few - gave it a miss. The thin field in the first GP was surprising and hardly a build up towards the Tokyo Olympics. With two more Grand Prix meets (February 25 and March 5) scheduled leading up to the Federation Cup in Patiala from March 15, one would expect a stronger field in the next two events.
Dutee, looking to make it to her second Olympics, clocked 11.51 to win the 100m race. Karnataka’s AT Daneswari came second (11.86) and Maharashtra’s Diandra Dudley Valladares third (11.97). Dutee, who holds the national record (11.22s), is still far from the Tokyo Olympics qualifying standard of 11.15.
On the other hand, star sprinter Hima Das, who is currently looking to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, has been appointed as a Deputy Superintendent of Police by the Assam government. The reigning world junior 400m champion, who won a silver in women's 400m in the 2018 Asian Games, was also part of the gold-winning women's 400m relay and mixed 400m relay quartets in the quadrennial event in Jakarta.