Hima Das: The Woman Who Sprinted Her Way to Victory from the Rice Fields of Assam
Eighteen-year-old Hima Das, the daughter of a farmer from Dhing village in Nagaon district, has made history by becoming the first Indian woman to win a gold medal at a track event of a world championships.
Hima Das of India, celebrates her victory in women's 400 meter race at the 2018 IAAF World U20 Championships in Tampere, Finland. (Image: AP)
Eighteen-year-old Hima Das, the daughter of a farmer from Dhing, has made history by becoming the first Indian woman to win a gold medal at a track event of a world championships.
Hima took keen interest in football from a young age and would play with boys in her village. Her talent was then spotted by a local coach who told her to train in athletics.
After her stellar victory, her coach Nipon Das praised the athlete’s mettle. “She does not get overawed by anybody and does not care about her opponents. In every race, her goal is to beat the best with better timing,” Nipon was quoted as saying in The Hindu.
Hima who had a slow start, managed to speed past her rivals in the last 80 metres where she clocked 51.46 seconds to finish first.
Soon after Das' nail-biting performance, her village broke out in celebrations.
“We’re elated. She is not only the glory of Dhing (her hometown), but also the pride of Assam. We pray that she achieves more success in future,” said the athlete’s mother, Jonali Das.
Ranjit Das, Hima’s father, expressed his delight over her triumph. “We hope she will continue winning gold in upcoming tournaments bringing pride and glory to the state and country.”
Meanwhile, congratulatory messages poured in from across the country with Prime Minister Modi and President sending out tweets.
India is delighted and proud of athlete Hima Das, who won a historic Gold in the 400m of World U20 Championships. Congratulations to her! This accomplishment will certainly inspire young athletes in the coming years.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 13, 2018
“India is delighted and proud of athlete Hima Das, who won a historic Gold in the 400m of World U20 Championships... This accomplishment will certainly inspire young athletes in the coming years,” he posted on Twitter.
President Kovind, in his tweet, called her victory a “proud moment for Assam and India”.
Congratulations to our sensational sprint star Hima Das for winning the 400m gold in the World Under-20 Championship. This is India’s first ever track gold in a World Championship. A very proud moment for Assam and India, Hima; now the Olympic podium beckons! #PresidentKovind — President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) July 12, 2018
Veteran actor Amitabh Bachchan also tweeted a congratulatory message for her gold medal win.
T 2865 - CONGRATULATIONS .. #HimaDas , the first Indian Women to win a GOLD in World Athletic track event EVER ! INDIA is proud of you .. you have given us reason to hold up our heads HIGH ! JAI HIND !! 🇮🇳🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/Q0YVCx6FSf
— Amitabh Bachchan (@SrBachchan) July 12, 2018
Ahead of Thursday’s contest, Hima was seen as a favourite, having registered victories at 100m, 200m, 400m and 4x400m relay at Patiala, Jakarta, and Guwahati.
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