It is indeed a testament of ones greatness when one rises above the challenges they face, above the age old notion surrounding Indians in a particular discipline- above all of it to emerge as a legit contender for the top spot. Hima Das has managed to do that. Not really famed for their exploits in track athletics, it looks as if this year Hima Das would be the one to break that deadlock for Indian athletes. IAAF has already touted her as “the one to look out for” in the World U20 Championships.
Das burst into the forefront with a historic run at the 2018 Commonwealth games which saw her clock a personal best in the finals of the 400mt race. She registered a timing of 51.32s, to finish sixth in the final race. For the people watching back in India, Hima Das was already a star. Her quirks off the field made her as lovable as her blazing performance on the track did.
Now, we’re back to one of the biggest tournaments in athletics- the World u20 Championships. Indian prospects are bright. In the Men’s Long Jump, young M Sreeshankar had missed out on a Commonwealth Games berth due to an injury. He will be looking to make a mark on the world stage with an electrifying performance he is quite capable of. Sreeshankar’s personal best is a whopping 7.99mts in his event. The 2016 Gold medalist in his event at the U20 World Championships registered a distance of 8.00mts while the U20 World Record is 8.35mts.
Coming back to Hima Das, recently, she set a new Indian record bettering her previous timing of 51.32s and lowering it down to 51.13 over 400m and 23.10 for 200m. 51.32s was the timing of the 2016 U20 Women’s 400mt Gold medalist so Hima clearly has a wonderful chance of emerging right at the top of the fray.
In fact the only other athlete competing this year in the Women’s 400mt who has registered a timing under 52 seconds is 19-year old Roxana Gomez from Cuba. Granted she has a lot more experience than Hima Das but the Assam born girl has never let that stop her. From running without any formal training in the muddy fields of Assam, she has now become one of India’s best hopes for medals at the highest level.
Objectively speaking, we do not have too much time left for the Tokyo Olympics. India’s performance in the U20 World Championships and the final standings will surely be a huge criteria that all future Olympics preparation should be based on.
News Credit : https://thebridge.in