India’s new sensation Hima Das has bagged India’s first ever gold in a track event at the IAAF World Under-20 Athletics Championships in Finland on Thursday. The eighteen-year-old hails from a nondescript district in Assam and has high aspirations to achieve something for her country.
Hima Das joined Neeraj Chopra, who won a gold in the Javelin throw (a field event) in the last edition of the U-20 Championships in 2016, as a select few to have done it on the world stage. Belonging to a family run solely by the meager income through farming, Das spoke about the struggles she faced and the kind of mindset she has.
“I have faced a lot of issues and have even struggled due to my family’s condition. I am a positive person and want to achieve something for my parents and for the country. It has been like a dream come true and now I am the world champion,” said Das to PTI from Tampere on Monday.
“She is a strong and stubborn girl, and will not listen to anybody when she wants to achieve something. Her competitive nature has made her achieve this feat and I hope that she will make her country proud. We are happy that she is doing well. Hopefully, she wins medals in Asian Games and Olympic Games. The whole village has been celebrating since the morning. Our relatives have dropped
Hima has four siblings and her cousin Joy Das could not stop praising her. Joy revealed how he did not want her to go play football with the boys but, she never listened.
“She is a physically strong girl and can kick the football like any of us. I used to tell her not to go play with the boys but, she did not listen to us,” revealed Joy.
On the contrary, Hima mentioned about not focusing on the medals and rather being more inclined towards her running.
“I am just happy that I have been doing well and making my country proud. I do not focus on the medal when I am there on the track. I just want to keep running fast. I am not thinking about winning a medal in the Olympics or Asian Games,” added Hima.
Das has changed her fortunes very quickly by realizing her strengths. She used to play football initially where she was spotted by Nipon Das, an athletics coach in 2016 who suggested her to shift to Guwahati. Her parents were against this idea but later relented. Das trained at Indira Gandhi Athletics Stadium in Guwahati and later won a gold in the 400m race of the Federation Cup in Patiala to qualify for the Commonwealth Games.
She came 6th in the Commonwealth Games’ finals. Recently, she won a gold in the National Inter-State Championships and lowered the Indian 400m record to 51.13 seconds in the U-20 category to qualify for the Asian Games in Indonesia.