Napoli (Italy): National record holder Dutee Chand became the first Indian woman track and field athlete to clinch a gold medal in the World Universiade after she won the 100m dash event here.
The 23-year-old Dutee clocked 11.32 seconds to win the gold as she led the race from start to finish. Running in lane number 4, Dutee was the first one out of the eight athletes to blast off the starting blocks and she made most of it to fend off a late challenge from Del Ponte (11.33) of Switzerland.
Lisa KwaYie of Germany took the bronze in 11.39 seconds in the race run past midnight Indian time on Tuesday. The Odisha runner, whose national record stands at 11.24 seconds, thus became the first Indian to win a 100m gold in a global event.
Hima Das had clinched the top spot in 400m in the World Junior Athletics Championships last year. Dutee, who had a silver each in 100m and 200m in the 2018 Asian Games, is also only the second Indian track and field athlete to win a gold in the World Universiade. Inderjeet Singh had clinched the top spot in men’s shot put event in the 2015 edition.
After winning the race, Dutee, who recently admitted to having a relationship with a girl, tweeted: “Pull me down, I will come back stronger!” She further added: “With years of hardwork and your blessings, I have yet again broken the record by winning the Gold in 100m dash in 11.32 seconds at The World University Games, Napoli.”
Earlier, Dutee had qualified for the final with a time of 11.41 seconds in the semifinal, which had made her the first Indian sprinter to make it to the final of World Universiade. On Monday, she had advanced to the semifinals from the heats with a time of 11.58 seconds.
Dutee has a season best of 11.26 seconds in 100m, recorded in the Doha Asian Championships in April. She could not reach the semifinals in the previous edition of the World University Games in Taipei City in 2017....