Hailing from Dhing village, Hima Das has given us Indians a reason to pat ourselves on the back. 18-year-old Das, reportedly the youngest runner competing at the global event, brought home India’s first track gold medal by winning the 400-metre final at The World U20 Championships held in Tampere, Finland.
Das was competing with US champion Taylor Manson, Elia Connolly of Australia and Andrea Miklos of Romania amongst others. While she started slow and maintained her pace throughout, it was during the final 80 meters that she effortlessly brushed past the three women leading the race by a huge margin. Das completed the 400m race in 51.46 seconds.
Watch the video below:
Daughter of paddy farmer Ranjib Das, Hima was drawn towards sports from childhood and her family supported her at every step. She started off by playing football and was part of the school team. Her teacher recognised her talent as a runner and asked her to switch from football to athletics. “She had said she will come back with a medal. But she never runs for medals, she always runs to improve her timing. The entire village is at our house right now, and we are all celebrating. We are waiting for Hima to come back, it will be a grand reception,” Joy Das, Hima’s cousin told News18.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sports Minister Amitabh Bachchan, Sachin Tendulkar and other prominent personalities congratulated the fierce star on Twitter. Das is now in league with Indian athletes who have won medals at the World U20 Championships. She is the only runner among ‘throwers’ like Seema Punia (bronze, discus), Navjeet Kaur Dhillon (bronze, discus) and Neeraj Chopra (gold, javelin).
(Header credits: Hima Das on Twitter)