Sprinter Hima Das has picked up a hamstring injury while competing in the women's 100m heats at the Inter-state Athletics Championships being held at Patiala.
Hima Das' injury is not only a big setback for the sprinter at the individual level, but it also jeopardizes the chances of the women's 4x100m relay team which comprises of Hima Das, Dutee Chand, Dhanalaxmi and Archana Suseedran, to qualify for Tokyo. The women's 4x100m relay event is scheduled for the evening of June 26.
The four sprinters had created a new national record at the Indian Grand Prix 4 (IGP4) earlier this month when they completed the race in 43.37 seconds. The Olympic qualification mark for the women's 4x100m relay has been set at 43.05 seconds.
The inter-state athletic championship is the last hope for sprinters Hima Das and Dutee Chand to qualify for next month's Tokyo Olympics 2020. The qualification period for the Tokyo games ends on 29th June.
Earlier this month, Hima Das and Dutee Chand failed to qualify for the summer games at the IGP4.
The Dhing Express completed the women's 200m sprint in 22.88 seconds to create a new national record but the time was not enough to guarantee her a ticket to Tokyo. The Tokyo qualification mark for women's 200m has been set at 22.80 seconds.
Hima Das' past struggles with injuries
In April 2019, Hima Das was racing 400m at the Doha Asians when she stopped midway through the race due to an injury. It was later reported that the sprinter had suffered a back injury.
Hima Das had felt confident about her recovery from the injury in the lower back. She had made a quick recovery and then managed to pull off a string of wins in Poland and the Czech Republic in July and August of 2019.
But the Atheletic Federation of India (AFI) advised further caution and Hima Das was ruled out of the World Championships in Doha scheduled from September 27 to October 6 2019.
“Injury is part of life for an athlete. The person I consider as a God, Sachin Tendulkar, also got injured. Even MS Dhoni or Usain Bolt have gone through it. Sometimes, recovery takes time,” Hima Das had said.
Further medical reports on Hima Das' fitness are awaited. But as things stand, this could be the end of the road for the the Asian Games silver medalist to compete at the Tokyo games.