Asian Games: Why Dutee Chand’s Win Marks a Defeat For Sexism

Sports

Asian Games: Why Dutee Chand’s Win Marks a Defeat For Sexism

Illustration: Arati Gujar

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very athlete competing at the Asian Games has a story of profound struggle behind them. Most have pushed their bodies to limits that we couch-potato civilians can never fathom, grinding every day just to jump half an inch higher, run a few milliseconds faster. The searing serves and thrilling goals that keep us glued to the Games are made from sacrificing any semblance of a normal life in order to become the best.

And yet, no Indian athlete stands out quite like sprinter Dutee Chand. The 22-year-old has fought hard, not only to clinch the first women’s 100m silver at the Asian Games since the glory days of PT Usha, but to compete at all. Dutee’s journey from a rural family of weavers to Jakarta has been marked by her tenacity: She spent years training barefoot on gravel roads, unable to afford a pair of sneakers.

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