IAAF World Under-20 Athletics Championships
Tampere: India’s Hima Das has made history by winning the gold medal in the 400-meter race at the Junior Under-20 World Athletics Championship in Tampere, Finland. She is the primary Indian athlete to succeed gold medal in the track event in junior or senior world competition at any level. Hima took the time of 51.46 seconds to win the historic gold medal. Hima, a small district of the North-East state of Assam, is living in the small village of Nagong in Dhing.
She now joins the famous company of star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, who won gold in Poland in the last version in 2016 in a world record effort. In fact, Hima Das is the first Indian track athlete to have won a medal in the history of this competition. The earlier medal winners at the World Junior Championships were Seema Punia (bronze in the discus throw in 2002) and Navjeet Kaur Dhillon (bronze in the discus throw in 2014). Hima was a favorite to win gold as she is the U-20 season head in this quarter-mile event. Das clocked an Indian U-20 record of 51.32 seconds to finish 6 in the Commonwealth Games 400m final in Gold Coast in April. Her father is a small farmer and his farm paddy (also called rice paddy) in the village. In the beginning, Hima used to play football with the boys in the fields of mud of paddy. She was an attacker. But a local coach looked at her and he advised Hima to come to the athletics. Later, in the district competition, the eye of the present coach of Hima and the director of the then Sports and Youth Welfare, Nippon, fell on the ice and he advised Hima to come to Guwahati. Persuade Hima’s father for Nippon was hard because he was not ready to send Hima to Guwahati, 140 kilometers away from home. But Nippon celebrated them in some way and brought Hima to Guwahati. After this Nippon gave Hima strong training and made him worthy of world-class competitions. What happened after that is history.