Happy Birthday Hima Das: Celebrating Indian Sprinter's Birthday with 5 of Her Biggest Achievements
Hima Das (Photo Credit: AP)
To celebrate her birthday, let’s have a look at her incredible journey.
The young sprinter was born in Kandhulimari village in Assam. The nearest town to her small village was Dhing for which she was later nicknamed Dhing Express on account of her fast pace. Her parents Ronjita and Sonali Das are farmers and belong to an indigenous Kaibbarta community.
In her school days, Das was interested in football and used to play in her school. Despite her desire to become a professional footballer, she put that dream on hold as she couldn’t see any prospects in the field, especially in India.
It was her Physical education teacher who suggested sprinting to her, and the rest is history.
Let’s have a look at the five biggest achievements of the famous sprinter:
1. National Record
She holds the Indian National Record for speed in the 400 mts race category. Her record timing was 50.79 seconds during the 2018 Asian Games hosted in Jakarta. The all-time world record for sprint in 400mts (women) is 47.60 by German Sprinter Marita Koch in 1985. As for India, the former record was held by Manjeet Kaur with 51. 05 seconds.
2. 7 golds within 2 months
Winning a gold medal is undoubtedly a huge achievement but winning five in a span of 19 days is impressive beyond expectations. During July-August 2019, Das participated in European circuit tour, and World Championships. Her combined win from both these events was a staggering 5 gold medals in 200 mts and 2 gold medals in 400 mts sprints.
3. One silver and two golds at Asian Games
Das practically broke the Indian social media as they couldn’t stop singing praises of her. She participated in the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games at the age of 18 where she ended up winning three medals! The Assamese sprinter had initially been a 200mts racer but during this event she also ran the 400. This is the same event where she created her Indian national record during qualifiers.
She ended up with gold in the Mixed Team’s relay race as well as Women’s teams.
4. IAAF U-20 Championships 2018
The brightest feather in her cap is definitely the biggest win of her life. At the Under-20 championship organised by the International Association of Athletics Federations in 2018, Das created history by becoming the first Indian sprinter to win a gold medal at the international track event. The record isn’t just for U-20 but for all age groups.
5. Arjuna Award
Das has won a number of accolades in her life but in 2018 she was bestowed with the Arjuna Award by the President of India. Arjuna Awards for Outstanding Performance in Sports and Games is given out to exceptional sportspeople for making the country proud and is one of the highest honours in the country.