No more tears! Stop bemoaning India's World Cup loss. Our champion, Dutee Chand, won glory for us!

On a day the nation mourned, it had a big reason to celebrate.

 |  3-minute read |   12-07-2019
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The wailing over India's loss to New Zealand that came on July 10 in the World Cup 2019 semi-final is far from over.

It was a big match indeed. This was perhaps one of the strongest squads India had in a World Cup tournament. India were at the top of the charts — and a third time win of the World Cup looked eminently in sight.

Thus, the whole nation joined in the shock and collective mourning over a loss on the international stage — so struck were Indians due to the loss suffered in cricket that millions were hit by a collective blindness that failed to see the very big achievement an Indian had made elsewhere, also on the international stage.

dutee-690_071219020152.jpgIt was her day: Dutee Chand led the final race at the World Universiade from start to finish in 11.32 seconds. (Photo: Getty Images)

Twenty-three-year-old Dutee Chand became the first Indian woman athlete to win a gold medal at the World Universiade.

Chand ran 100m in 11.32 seconds to achieve that feat. It was also the first time an Indian won a global 100m sprint event.

The lead story in most papers on July 11 though was the loss in cricket.

Many said 'India lost' — failing to see that India also won at the 30th Summer University Games in Naples, Italy.

But Chand's story is such an amazing saga of human endurance — best encapsulated in the tweet that followed her win — that we should all learn from it. Not only is she the first woman to win a gold at the World Universiade, she is also the first sports star to acknowledge being in a same-sex relationship.

This was Chand's first major competition since she came out about being in a homosexual relationship — and faced the ire of her family.

Her mother and father, Akhuji and Chakradhar Chand, have not accepted their daughter's wish to "settle down" with her partner. The parents reportedly termed the relationship "immoral and unethical".

Yet, Dutee did not let any of those things deter her when it came to focusing on her sport.

The fiery woman took to Twitter to tell the world that she was not paying attention to 'negative' family members.

But Dutee is not new to life trying to bog her down. In 2014, she was dropped from the Commonwealth Games squad with the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) saying she could not compete as a female athlete because of a hyperandrogenism rule (a testosterone limit set by the world athletics body for women athletes).

Dutee challenged the decision and got it reversed — this set a new milestone in the fight for gender equality in sports.

There is every reason to celebrate her story.

While the Prime Minister, the President and some celebs congratulated Dutee on her feat, this is nothing beyond following customary norm.

Imagine the celebrations the country would have broken into, had we won the cricket World Cup. Imagine the front page headlines, the TV news coverage. We are still so busy speculating over Mahendra Singh Dhoni's future course of action. Having performed badly in the World Cup, should he resign or play on — that is the question on our minds.

But, in truth, this is Dutee Chand's moment.

She made the nation proud — and yet, on that day, we mourned.

Also read: Sachin Tendulkar's sharp new look! Sachin turns into a sartorial Master Blaster, and we aren’t complaining!


Vandana Vandana @vsinghhere

Author is the former Assistant Editor, DailyO.

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