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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.

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Updated:July 13, 2018, 4:01 PM IST
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Hima Das: The Woman Who Sprinted Her Way to Victory from the Rice Fields of Assam
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)
New Delhi: Dhing is a village around 30 km from Nagaon town in Assam. Most people outside the state had no clue about its existence; all that changed on Thursday night.

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... 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”.





Veteran actor Amitabh Bachchan also tweeted a congratulatory message for her gold medal win.



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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