10 hours after winning 400m title, Priya Mohan beats Dutee Chand to win 200m gold medal
"Defeating a legend like Dutee in the final. I'll relish this moment for long," said Priya Mohan after winning the 200m gold medal in Khelo India University Games.
Hosts Jain University's Priya H Mohan shrugged off worries overnight and brought joy to her home crowd with a second gold medal in 10 hours on the final day of the athletics programme of the Khelo India University Games at Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Monday.
Mohan, who had won a gold in the women's 400m race on Sunday, beat the experienced Dutee Chand to drive the yellow metal home in the 200m race on Monday.
The women's 200m was among the must-watch events of the Khelo Games as it was the first contest in the final between the most exciting prospect Priya and the experienced Dutee Chand, who is the double-silver medallist of the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games and reigning World University Games champion.
Despite not getting proper pre-race preparation and sleeping for just 5 hours at night, Priya looked fully composed in the race from the beginning. Representing the Kalinga University of Bhubaneswar, 26-year-old Dutee, who has an experience of more than a decade on international stages, was leading till the point of the curve. However, Priya caught up with her at the bend only to surge ahead with 90m left to cover. She won the gold with a time of 23.90 seconds while Dutee settled for the silver with a timing of 24.02s. Florence Barla of Ranchi University bagged the bronze with a timing of 24.13s.
It was only the second contest between the duo. Priya won the first round of their battle, earlier this year during the All-India Inter-University semifinals.
"I am living a dream. Winning a gold medal at home before your parents, relatives, friends and teachers is beyond words. Moreover defeating a legend like Dutee in the final. I'll relish this moment for long," Priya told The Bridge.
Priya, who won the 400m gold under pouring rain and was angry with her timing. "I wanted to do sub-52 seconds. But the rain prevented it. It rained for four-and-a-half hours. Even after the break, I had to wait for another 30 minutes and at the end of the race, I was carried out by officials as I was completely drained out," she said.
"Then the dope-test took another one hour. I hit the bed close to midnight. I usually sleep for eight hours. Today's (200m) final was set at 8.30 am, which meant I had to report at 6 am. I hardly got 5 hours of sleep. But I'm happy with the outcome," she said before heading home.
Priya and her coach Arjun Ajay are leaving on Tuesday for three international meets scheduled this month.
"I congratulate Priya on the win. She is immensely talented. I'm not at all worried about the outcome here. After last month's Federation Cup Senior Nationals in Kerala, I went back to doing basics during my training. My focus is on the Hangzhou Asian Games in September. I want to improve and change the colour of the medals I won after four years," said Dutee.