India’s Fastest Woman Who Once Couldn’t Afford Shoes to Run In Lands 2-Year Puma Deal

dutee chand

Dutee Chand, India’s fastest female sprinter and first openly-LGBTQ athlete, has landed an endorsement deal with international sportswear label Puma.

On Thursday, Puma announced the signing of the 23-year-old record-holder, placing her among the elite athletes supported by the brand, which includes sprint legend Usain Bolt.

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“Dutee’s success is a result of a sheer display of her exceptional athletic capabilities and power on the track. Having rewritten the history of Indian sports in her explosive style, she represents everything we are as a brand,” Puma India’s Managing Director Abhishek Ganguly said in a statement.

“This partnership further reinforces our commitment to the sports ecosystem in India and we believe she will have a big influence in shaping the future of Track and Field in the country. We look forward to working with Dutee and being a part of her journey.”

As part of her two-year deal with Puma, Chand will get custom-made gear for her upcoming bid to qualify for next year’s Tokyo Olympics, reports Reuters.

Chand, who was born from extreme poverty, had to fight discrimination and work extra hard to become a top-tier athlete. Her determination to succeed is evident as she has been setting records and making history early on in her career. 

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“When I was a child, I used to run barefoot on the river banks, I didn’t have money to buy shoes,” she shares in an earlier interview.

One of her career highlights was becoming the first Indian athlete to win a gold medal at the World University Games (The Universiade) by winning the women’s 100m dash in Napoli, Italy last month by clocking 11.32 seconds.

Speaking of her endorsement deal, Dutee expressed her excitement being associated with a reputable brand.

“This is my very first exclusive brand association and I am thrilled that it is with a company that has worked with legendary athletes like Usain Bolt, the fastest man alive,” Dutee was quoted as saying.

“It is great to see PUMA encourage athletes across sporting fields and I am humbled by their trust in me to represent the brand in India. This means a lot to me and I am excited about my association with PUMA.”

Featured Image via Instagram / duteechand

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