Ace Indian sprinter Dutee Chand has been named among the ‘TIME 100 Next’ most influential people in the world. English cricket star Ben Stokes is the only other sportsman in the club 100 rising influencers, who are making an impact to shape the future in fields business, entertainment, sports, politics, health, science, activism etc.
“I am delighted to receive this recognition from the TIME magazine. I believe in gender equality. I will continue to fight for the rights of young girls and women in sports as well as in the larger society,” Dutee said in a statement.
Lauding, Dutee’s contribution to sports and the society, the magazine has stated that “on the track, Dutee Chand sprints. Off the track, she fights. The 100-m runner from India is preparing to make her second Olympic appearance, in 2020 in Tokyo. In July, she became the first Indian sprinter to win the 100-m at the World University Games. But back in 2014, Dutee Chand was effectively banned from competition because of her high natural testosterone levels; she appealed the verdict and won a precedent-setting case. This year, Dutee Chand announced she was in a same-sex relationship, making her the first openly gay athlete in India’s history.
“For a country that decriminalized homosexuality just a year ago, her revelation was a notable step forward: Vogue India named her the nation’s Sportsperson of the Year. ‘No one can win without love,’ says Dutee.”
Dutee was also invited by the IAAF to compete at the women’s 100m event at the Doha World Championships in September but she could not qualify for the semi-finals, fading in the heats after clocking 11.48s.
Ben Stokes, sports only other representation in the 100-strong list, is lauded for his all-round contribution to give England their maiden ICC World Cup title. “Ben Stokes: The ancient Greeks had a name for it: aristeia—a warrior’s sublime moment, the defining blaze of glory, the acme, the apex, the summit. In summer 2019, Ben Stokes unleashed two such explosions of greatness, each one enough to cement his reputation as one of the foremost all-around talents in cricketing history,” stated the magazine in a the note of appreciation for Stroke.
“Returning from an eight-match ban for ‘bringing the game into disrepute,’ following a 2018 prosecution—and subsequent acquittal—for affray, he demonstrated not just his world-class talent as batsman, bowler and fielder, but also the fine-tuned quality of his cricketing brain, his exquisite ability to read a game and time his responses to it. Without him, England would not be world cricket champions and we would have lost a subsequent five-match series to our old rival Australia. He’ll never have to buy a drink again.”
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has congratulated sprinter Dutee Chand for being named in the TIME 100 Next list of most influential persons in the world and extended her best wishes.
CLICK HERE for the complete ‘TIME 100 Next’ list.
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