New Delhi, July 11: Dutee Chand, the ace Indian athlete, is facing a shortage of funds due to the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics to the next year and is planning to sell her BMW 3 series car to meet the expense of her training.
The player has spent all her allotted money given by the state government and sponsors for training as the scheduled Olympics has been shifted to a new date due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"Training is going quite good so far, I have been training here in Bhuvneshwar. Earlier, there was no problem related to funds for training as Tokyo Olympics were coming up and our state government conferred me, but because of coronavirus the Olympics were postponed and I had spent the money which was given to me by the sponsors. Now, I need money for training, I need new sponsors but because of coronavirus I am finding it difficult to find them. Now I have decided to sell my car to arrange funds," Dutee told ANI.
Dutee, who has been recently nominated for the Arjuna Award 2020, said COVID-19 has impacted heavily on sports and sponsors are not willing to support her at this time.
"The government itself doesn't have money right now because or coronavirus so it doesn't look good if I ask money from them. Coronavirus has impacted all of us, when there is no competition, no one is willing to sponsor us, we are all at loss, these are troublesome times," said two-time Asian Games silver medalist.
The 24-year-old sprinter will take around seven months to regain her best fitness level.
"All those who were training at hostels have been hit the hardest. All athletes will be impacted because of coronavirus, Olympics have been postponed by one year, all athletes will be impacted, lockdown made all of us stay at home, it will take 6-7 months to reach my best fitness levels," she added.
On May 25, Dutee resumed her training at Kalinga Stadium after a two-month break due to coronavirus-enforced lockdown.
She has less than a year to board the Tokyo bound plane as new qualification period deadline is June 29, 2021, and the International Federations can define their own qualification period deadlines prior to this date.
The revised final sport entries deadline has now been set at July 5, 2021. This is the first time that the Olympics have been postponed, and now the event will be held from July 23- August 8 next year.