Who is Hima Das, Indian sprinter who will run semis in Birmingham?

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New Delhi: ‘Dhing Express’ Hima Das qualified for the semi-finals of the women’s 200 m sprint in the ongoing Commonwealth Games, with a thrashing performance which made her top Heat 2. She covered the distance in 23.42 seconds to enter the semis in Birmingham. Apart from her consistently good performances in 200 m, she holds the national record in the women’s 400 m category as she clocked 50.79 seconds at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Adidas signed Hima Das for an endorsement deal and said that the athlete would be equipped with the best Adidas products for her racing and athletic needs. Coming from a small village in Assam, Hima has made the nation proud by winning medals at the international level.

Early life

Picture courtesy: Hima Das/Instagram

Hima Das was born near Kandhulimari village in Assam’s Nagaon district on 9 January. Her parents, Ronjit and Jonali Das belong to the indigenous Kaibarta community and did farming to support the family. Hima is the eldest among the six siblings. She studied at the Dhing Public High School. There she was interested in playing football with the boys.

Shamshul Sheikh, a teacher at the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, saw her incredible speed while playing football and asked her to shift to sprinting.

Career

Due to a lack of proper tracks and equipment, she used to practice on the football field. However, she made it to the inter-district meet back in 2016, where her talent came to light. She clinched a bronze medal in the state meet and later that year, she reached the 100 m final at the junior nationals.

Later on, she went on to qualify for the women’s 200m event at the Asian Youth Championships in Bangkok and for the World Youth Championships in Nairobi. However, her first international win came in the 400 m final at the World U-20 Championships 2018 held at Tampere in Finland. This was also the first international gold in the track events for the nation.

Her major success came in the 2018 Asian Games where she won three medals, including a gold medal in the 4×400 m mixed relay, gold in the 4×400 m women’s relay and silver medal in the women’s 400 m category.

Coming back from an injury, Hima won five international medals in just one month in 2019. The first one arrived at the Poznan Athletics Grand Prix in Poland and she went on to win another gold at the Kutno Athletics Meet just five days later. Just a week after that, she won her third-consecutive gold at the Kladno Athletics Meet in the Czech Republic and added the fourth one at the Tabor Athletics Meet. Her fifth gold came at the Mezinarodni Atleticky Mitink. Though these European events were not the toughest athletics meets, still it was a great accomplishment for the Indian athlete.

Awards and achievements

Picture courtesy: Hima Das/Instagram

At the age of just 18 years, she received the prestigious Arjuna Award and in 2021, she was appointed as the DSP in Assam Police. She was also appointed as India’s first-ever youth ambassador by UNICEF India.



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