Hima Das is an Indian sprinter, who hails from Dhing Village in Assam’s Nagaon district. She was born on 9 January 2000 to rice farmers and is the youngest of the six children in the family. She mainly participates in women’s 400 meters, 200 meters and 4X400 meters relay.
Hima is the first Indian track athlete to ever win a gold medal in a global event.
During her school life, she wanted to pursue her career in football and played the sport with boys from her school. Later on, she switched to athletics on the advice of a physical trainer from the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Nagaon. She started participating in short and middle distance races and won two gold medals at Shiv Sagar sports meet.
Her performance caught the attention of Nipon Das and Nabajit Malakar, athletics coaches in Directorate of Sports and Youth Affairs, Assam. Hima was asked by the coaches to shift to Guwahati for better training facilities. Her parents, who were initially reluctant, finally agreed to the suggestion.
Hima started living near Sarusajai Sports Complex and got enrolled in the state academy. The academy specialised in boxing and football, but seeing Hima’s talent, the officials agreed to let her train there. Later on, separate facilities for athletics were arranged.
Rise to Glory
After joining the academy, Hema’s steady progress started. She reached the finals of 100m in Junior National finals in 2016. She also qualified for 200m in 2017 Asian Youth Championship, Bangkok and 2017 World Youth Championship, Nairobi. Das secured seventh and fifth place respectively at the two tournaments.
She also went on to win the gold in Asian Games test event in Jakarta in 200m category with a personal best of 23.59 seconds. Soon after this, she also started focusing on the 400m category.
Hima’s first major international event was 2018 Commonwealth Games where she competed in 400m and was part of the Indian team in 4X400m relay. She finished sixth in the 400m final with a time of 51.32 seconds. In the relay event, the team finished seventh.
The achievement which brought Hima Das in the limelight was her gold medal in 2108 World U20 Championships in Tampere, Finland. She won the gold medal in Women’s 400m event with a time of 51.46 seconds and thus became the first Indian track athlete to ever win a gold medal in a global event.