Hima Das Put on Top at IAAF World Juniors Girls 400m
Him Das has put India at the Top of the World of Sprinters at the 2018 IAAF World Juniors in Tampere Finland. However not her personal best. In conclusion, Hima Das did enough to win the prestigious Gold Medal in the Girls 400m timing 51.46. After that Asian athletes continued to impress at this meet the day after Lolu Muhammad Zohri won Indonesia its first-ever medal at a major championship.
Hima Das joins rare group of World Junior Medalists
Das joins Neeraj Choopra (2016, Javelin). Other medal winners include Navjeet Khaur Dillon (2014, Discus) and Seema Punia (2002, Discus) continuing India’s success of producing medalists at World Juniors. In other words, this being the first time in a non-throwing event and first time a female Athlete from India has won.
Above all It was a brilliant come from behind victory as Manson led through the first 300m going through in 37.1. With Das trailing half a second behind in 37.6 sitting in fourth. But characterized by the fast finish like the one she gave at Indian nationals, she continued to surge as the others faded covering the last 100m in 13.86.
Above all, her decision to skip the Asian Juniors to focus on the World Juniors paid off big. With Das crowning herself World Junior Champion. Das had a great domestic season improving her best time in all 3 sprints. Her 100m PB to 11.74 on 27 February at Patiala. Then at the national championships, she clocked 23.10 to win the 200m national title at Guwahati over top senior sprinter Dutee Chand and the 400m in 51.13 also a national title just a few weeks ago.
Hima Das First International Title
Therefore this was Das’s first international title she had finished 6th at the Commonwealth Games in the 400m. But that experienced help build her up a lot for World Juniors. In conclusion, Das had a meteoric rise having just been a 100m and 200m runner last year. With fairly ordinary 12.57 and 24.26 Personal Bests as a 17-year-old. Above all the decision by her and her coach to move to 400m was one never worth regretting.
Her time in the Commonwealth Games and then her time at nationals were continual Indian Junior Records. She is just outside the Indian National Record of 51.05 of Manjeet Kaur set at the National Circuit meet in Chennai on 16 June 2004.
Das had just turned 18 in January
At the World Junior Andrea Miklos of Romania got Silver in a new PB of 52.07, Taylor Manson (USA) took Bronze in 52.08 (PB 51.74).
However, Das jogged through to win her heat in 52.25 and then led the qualifying to the final with a comfortable 52.10.
Das will now shift her attention to the Asian Games next month in Jakarta, Indonesia. Where she has the difficult task of facing the Nigerian born Salwa Eid Naser who runs for Qatar. For instance, Naser has run 49.55 this year and has the top 5 times in Asian Rankings. However, India will probably secure the gold in the 4×400 with Sheoron Nimla who gave Das a good run at the Indian Nationals. Having 51.25 sitting in third place on the Asian Rankings. Poovama Machettira has run 52.94 and Prachi 52.96 is ranked 6th and 7th in Asia.
|2||1871||Andrea MIKLÓS||ROU||52.07 PB||0.198|
Youngest of 5 Siblings
Hima is the youngest of five siblings of Jomali and Ronjit Das, a marginal rice farmer. Athletics had never seriously been considered. Neither did her father have the money to spend to nurture her sporting career nor was there even a proper place to train. Instead, she played football on a muddy field in her village school. “I played for local clubs as a striker and I thought maybe one day I would play for India,” she says. However, it was only in 2016 that her PE teacher suggested that a football career would be hard and she should instead try out an individual event.
After a few months of training on the muddy turf on which the rest of the schoolchildren played football. Das would compete at the state championships in Guwahati. She took part in the 100m, not least because she had trained in none of the tactics required for the longer distances, and finished with a bronze.
The state of Assam isn’t particularly known for athletics and when Hima was sent to compete at the Junior National Championships in Coimbatore. As a reward for medalling at the state meet, there were few eyes on her.
“No one really expected her to do much,” says Nabajit Malakar, who accompanied the Assam team to Coimbatore. “But she made it to the final of the 100m to Coimbatore. It was remarkable that this girl who had never even trained properly had managed to reach the final and was competing along with girls who had been training seriously.”
Andrew was elected Vice President of the Association of Track and Field Statisticians in 2020 after being a member for 7 years.
He has worked as a PSC Consultant and Research Assistant from 2013-2015, Consultant, and Sprint Coach at Zamboanga Sports Academy from 2015-2017.
Current editor and chief of Pinoyathletics.info, and has recently done consultancy work for Ayala Corp evaluating the Track and Field Program.
Coaches Sprints, Middle and Jump events he is working towards his Level 3 Athletics Australia Coaching Certification in Sprints and Hurdles.
He can be contacted on [email protected]
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