Sprinter from Assam Hima Das drew the attention of the world again by finishing the women’s 400 m race of the Asian Games 2018 at 51 seconds, breaking her personal record, in Indonesia’s Jakarta and entered the final on Saturday.
Hima stood second while Bahrain’s Salwa Eid Naser remained on top by finishing at 50.86 seconds.
The final of the women’s 400 m race of Asian Games 2018 will be held on Sunday.
Hima Das, who hails from Dhing in Assam’s Nagaon district, scripted history by becoming the first ever Indian woman to win gold at the IAAF World Under-20 Athletics Championships held at Tampere in Finland.
It has been reported that it would be tough for Hima Das to clinch gold in her first Asian Games unless Bahrain’s Salwa Eid Naser goofs up big time.
Naser, who hails from Nigeria, is the 2017 World Championships silver medallist and has won four legs of the prestigious Diamond League Series in 2018.
Before going to the tracks of Asian Games, a confident Hima Das sought blessings from the people of Assam.
Earlier, when asked about her chances of winning medal at the Asiad 2018, Hima Das told the media, “I don’t run after medals but after timing.”
Hima Das’ timing of 51.32 seconds at the Commonwealth Games placed her sixth in a world-class field but a run in 51.46 seconds at Tampere made her the first Indian woman to win a gold at an IAAF World Junior Championships.
On the other hand, Salwa Eid Naser’s best timing is 49.08 seconds while finishing second in the Monaco leg Diamond League Meeting last month, which is the Asian record and second-leading time in the world this season.
Enlivened by the “outstanding” performance of sprint queen Hima Das Union Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said recently that a games period would be made mandatory in schools after reducing the syllabus by 50 per cent next year.
After her win in the Junior Athletics Championship, the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, congratulated Hima, on her achievement. Kovind tweeted, “Congratulations to our sensational sprint star Hima Das for winning the 400 m gold in the World Under-20 Championship. This is India’s first ever track gold in a World Championship. A very proud moment for Assam and India, Hima; now the Olympic podium beckons!”
The Chief Minister of Assam, Sarbananda Sonowal, had also congratulated the 18-year-old sprint queen.
The 18-year old sprinter, after finishing sixth in the Commonwealth Games 400 m final in Gold Coast in April, has gone onto improving her timings. She lowered the Indian U-20 record in 400 m to 51.13 seconds while winning gold in the recent National Inter State Championships in Guwahati.