The journey of a teenager, from the little-known village of Kandhulimari in Assam to Tampere, Finland was just dreamlike and captivated millions of Indian hearts. Indians always have a rare connection with stories of rising from rags to achieving greatness in life and they always loved it. Hima Das, an 18-year old is every bit of a star that Indian athletics could have hoped for and with her shining performance in the track; her fan-base is rapidly growing each day.
Youngest of the five children, Hima had a good time playing football with boys at school. Later she was introduced to the world of sprint by one of her teachers. Less than two years into the sports, she became the queen of 400m event in India when she clinched gold in the women’s 4*400m with a national record of 50.79 seconds at U-20 World Championship in Finland, creating history as the first Indian woman to win a gold on track at a golden event.
Fast and powerful, Hima’s biggest strength is her ability to keep calm during heavy expectations without any pressure or tensions. 400m event which is considered one of the tougher ones in track and field was tackled easily by Hima Das who was relatively new to the 400m event when she travelled to U-20 World Championship in Finland in July.
Hima’s campaign in Indonesia didn’t start off with a perfect script but later loomed to be a great one as she won silver in women’s 400m final, breaking her own record and clinched another silver in the mixed relay team to finish second. Her golden moment arrived when she gave an exceptional start in the 4*400m women’s relay which paved way for another gold to India’s credit.
Hima’ talent brought her attention from the world of commerce too. From running barefoot through the swampy fields of Assam, the uninhibited Assamese teenager attained new heights by inking a mega-deal with the German sports brand, Adidas who will now make custom-made shoes with her name on it.
The next season is already waiting for Hima Das and the awards and rewards don’t bother her anymore as she prepares to focus on her competiotions in South Asian Games, Asian Championship and World Championship. “There are few targets in my mind. I will do it one by one- I will work hard, award and rewards will follow”, she said.
She will soon receive one more feather to her cap on September 25 when she receives the Arjuna Award from the President of India.
Hima Das definitely is India’s future in athletics and the one to be watched for Tokyo Olympics.