23-year-old sprinter Dutee Chand has been named in the TIME 100 Next list of the most influential persons in the world. The holder of the 100-metre national record, Chand became the first sportsperson in India to come out as queer and acknowledged being in a same-sex relationship.
Dutee Chand became the first Indian athlete to win gold in women’s 100-metre sprint at World University Games in Naples, Italy. This was also the first time an Indian qualified for the 100-metre final in the history of University Games.
Chand told The Indian Express,
“I am happy to become the first girl ever to win gold for India in the World University Games. I dedicate this medal to my university KIIT, its founder Professor Samantaji, who has stood by me during my bad days, the people of Odisha and CM Naveen Patnaik for all his support.”
The silver medal in the 100-metre sprint was won by Ajla Del Ponte of Switzerland, who came up with a late burst of speed to finish with a time of 11.33 seconds.
Dutee qualified for the final with a time of 11.41 seconds in the semifinal earlier on Tuesday, which was in itself a path-breaking feat. No Indian had qualified for the 100-metre final in the history of the University Games before this.