Bhubaneswar: Odia sprinters Dutee Chand and Srabani Nanda are under scanner over qualifying for Rio Olympics as the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) has raised suspicion over the automatic timer used for recording their qualification timings.
Along with Dutee Chand and Srabani Nanda, triple jumper Ranjit Maheswari and long jumper Ankit Sharma have also been put in the suspicion list. As per published reports in national media, well-known Athletics statistician and IAAF official Henrique Hubling has prepared a list of athletes with doubtful times needed for Olympic qualification.
On June 25, Dutee set an Olympic qualifying time of 11.24 seconds in the 100m race at Almati. However, she failed to maintain her qualifying time in the Olympics with a timing of 11.69 seconds.
Similarly, on June 26, Srabani clocked a timing of 23.07 seconds in the 200m race to qualify for the Olympics. However, she fared much worse at the Olympics with a timing of 23.58 seconds.
Now such differences in the qualifying time and the actual race timings have created a shadow of doubt over the qualifying times.
While sprinter Srabani’s comments could not be obtained, Dutee Chand said- “the timings set by me were on the track in front of everyone. It’s an officially recorded computerized timing. I have not set the timing by running in an empty field in order to qualify. Anyways, my performance has not been bad.”
“A 100m sprinter cannot give the same time every time he or she is on the track. It is not possible for a sprinter to match a particular timing,” said Athletics coach Nilamadhav Deo.