Hima Das: The Inspiring Athlete From Assam

Hima Das the athlete from Assam is an inspiration for young girls who aspire to be included in sports all over India. Read more about Hima.

Hima Das was born into a poor family near Kandhulimari village in Assam’s Nagaon district on January 9. Her parents, Ronjit and Jonali Das, belong to the indigenous Kaibarta community. Both of them engage in farming to support the family.

She attended Dhing Public High School, where she developed an interest in playing football, a sport she would play with the boys. Shamshul Sheikh, a teacher at Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, provided the most valuable piece of information to the youngster after observing her incredible speed while playing football. What followed is history.

The 18-year-old Indian sprinter had always wanted to play football. Her school coach convinced her to try out athletics after noticing her sprinting across the muddy fields of Assam. Despite a lack of training facilities and equipment, she still bagged a bronze medal in the state meet.

She didn’t have an available running track and had to practice on a muddy football field. After considering the advice given, she, with barely any training under her belt, won the 100m bronze at the state meet and subsequently made it to the finals of the Junior National Championships.

Hima Das success in the Commonwealth

Hima das

The coaches decided to switch Hima to run the quarter-mile to give her a better shot at international success. At the Federation Cup in Patiala in March 2018, Hima Das comfortably won the 400m gold in 51.97 seconds, breaking the 52-second qualifying mark for the Commonwealth Games later that year. She then became part of the Indian athletics contingent for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Finding herself fast-tracked into the national games, she couldn’t win a medal, but Hima Das improved on her personal best timings in the heats and the finals of the 400m at the Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast. Despite finishing sixth in the 400m at the Commonwealth Games, Hima Das’ achievements were set to see a fascinating turnaround.

Ding express

Hima Das became the first Indian athlete to win a gold medal in any format of a global track event at the IAAF World U20 Championships when she clocked a speed of 51.46 seconds. She won 5 gold medals in about a month in the Czech Republic in July 2019.

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Achievements of Hima Das

Hima Das mainly takes part in women’s 400-meter, 200-meter, and 4×400-meter relays. At the Asian Games in 2018, she won a silver medal in the 4×400-meter mixed relay. She also set an Indian U20 record of 51.32 seconds to finish sixth in the Commonwealth Games 400m final in Gold Coast in April 2018.

In September 2018, Adidas signed an endorsement deal with Hima Das. She was then conferred with the Arjuna Award by the President of India on September 25, 2018.

Das in the 2018 Asian Games

Hima das

The 2018 Asian Games was a similar story. Das qualified for the 400m final, clocking 51.00 in heat 1 and setting a new Indian national record. On August 26, 2018, she bettered the national record to 50.79 seconds in the 400m final, winning the silver medal.

Four days later, Das, in association with M. R. Poovamma, Sarita Gayakwad, and V. K. Vismaya, scripted history. The quartet won the women’s 4 × 400 meters relay by clocking an incredible time of 3:28.72. This was a fitting compensation for Hima, who had failed to qualify for the final of the 200-meter race earlier on the same day.

It was a false start in the semifinal that had let her down back then. Hima also won a silver medal in the 4×400m mixed relay to complete a record-breaking haul at the continental extravaganza.

Das gave a voice and provided a platform for young girls who aspire to be included in sports. With women reaching new heights day by day, we get to see the gender diversity in the nation, which has been so stereotypical when it comes to girls playing sports. It’s no longer just a ‘boy’ thing to do, and is acknowledged as a profession for all!

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