Hima Das of Assam Scripts history on Thursday 12 July 2018 when she won the gold medal in the 400m final – at the IAAF World Under-20 Athletics Championships in Tampere, Finland. She became the first Indian athlete to create such record in a track event.
The 18-year-old girl hailing from rural Assam clocked 51.46 seconds to claim the top position while Andrea Miklos of Romania came second with a timing 52.07 seconds and USA’s Taylor Manson won after clocking 52.28 seconds.
She also clocked an Indian U-20 record of 51.32 seconds to finish sixth in the Commonwealth Games 400m final in Gold Coast in April. Ever since she has been improving her timings. In the recently-concluded National Inter-State Championships in Guwahati, she lowered the Indian U-20 record in 400m to 51.13 seconds while winning gold.
The previous medal winners at the World Junior Championships were Seema Punia (bronze in the discus in 2002) and Navjeet Kaur Dhillon (bronze in the discus in 2014).
She never thought in life that she will an athlete. She started off with football, playing ball with boys in the mud pits next to the rice fields. Spotting her tremendous potentiality a local coach advised her to take up athletics.
Her parents, Ranjit Das and Jomali, were not ready to let the youngest of six children leave and they had to be persuaded a lot. Later on, they permitted her to leave the native place.
Congratulating Das, Athletics Federation of India President said, “Very proud of Hima for creating history. It is one of the proudest moments of my life and for Indian athletics. Congratulations to Hima and her coaches, the government and SAI for their support to AFI.