Ace sprinter Dutee Chand has been nominated for the Arjuna Award 2020 along with 26 other Indian sportspersons such as cricketer Ishant Sharma, shooter Manu Bhaker and footballer Sandesh Jhingan.

While Jajpur-born Odia athlete Dutee celebrated the Arjuna Award with a tweet, saying: “Onward and upward!”, chief minister Naveen Patnaik said the entire state is “proud of your achievement”.

“Congratulate ace sprinter from #Odisha, Dutee Chand on being recommended to receive prestigious Arjuna Award. Odisha is proud of your achievement,” the Odisha CM tweeted.

Baijayant Jay Panda, the national vice president and spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), also congratulated Dutee on her achievements.

“Great moment for #Odisha! @PandaJay congratulates and conveys his best wishes to ace sprinter @DuteeChand on being nominated to get the prestigious #ArjunaAward. Wish you all the success,” the Office of Jay Panda said in a tweet.

Dutee is the current national champion in the women’s 100 metres sprint, apart from being only the third Indian women ever to qualify for the 100 metres event at the Summer Olympics. In 2019, she became the first Indian athlete to come out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community.