Even though Hima Das missed out on making the cut to Tokyo, her past achievements stand testament to her athletic prowess. The Indian sprint sensation's latest outing at the Inter-state Senior National Championships was marred by an untimely injury. She was diagnosed with a grade 1 hamstring tear and advised not to run the final race.
However, Hima wanted to give one last try to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. And despite having little hope of achieving the impossible, she ran the women’s 200m finals with a hamstring tear.
Her deteriorating condition, coupled with a competitive draw in the women’s 200m final, saw Hima bow out of the tournament, finishing last. Critics and experts were quick to comment on the risks associated with her supposedly immature decision.
And in hindsight, it may not have been the most professional decision but one can understand the passion with which these athletes perform. So it is not difficult to recognize that Hima's last race was more about her hoping to create a miracle - a storyline which is rather synonymous with the world of sports and athletics.
As the 21-year-old takes time to recover to set the tracks on fire again, let’s take a look at some of her inspiring achievements from the past.
Rise to stardom
A 18-year-old Hima Das grabbed India's attention back in 2018 when she won the 400m race to become the first Indian athlete to win a gold medal in a track event at the IAAF World U20 Championships. Over the next couple of years, she went on to prove that her first international medal wasn’t a one-off accident.
Silver lining to Hima Das’ Asian Games debut
Four months after competing at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Hima made her Asian Games debut in Jakarta. A tournament debutant, Hima not only qualified for the 400m finals but also set a new Indian national record of 51.00s.
The timing was short-lived as the Assamese sprinter bettered her personal best in the immediate next race by further lowering the national record to 50.79s. She won a silver medal in her maiden Asian Games appearance.
If this wasn’t enough to cement Hima’s reputation as India’s next big thing in athletics, she went a notch up and helped the 4x400m mixed relay team win their first-ever silver medal in their debut Asian Games appearance.
Hima Das' golden hat-trick in 2019
Hima Das announced herself as a serious international athlete in 2019. She enjoyed three consecutive international gold medal wins in the span of two weeks.
Hima won the 200m gold in Poznan Grand Prix in Poland, 200m gold at the Kladno Meet in the Czech Republic and 400m gold in Nové Město, Czech Republic.
Raising the bar high in the national circuit
Since then, Hima has consistently set the bar high for athletes back home. Her most recent exploits came at the Indian Grand Prix 4 where she ran a blistering 22.88s in the 200m final to win another gold. It was followed by another record-breaking dash at the women’s 4x100m relay. Dutee Chand, S Dhanalakshmi and Archana Suseendran broke the national record with a timing of 43.37s.