An athlete from Assam Hima Das, has been selected for the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Australia.
She hails from Dhing, Nagaon and is the youngest of five siblings of Jomali and Ronjit Das, a marginal rice farmer.
Sprinter Hima won gold in the 400m race of the Federation Cup. She had clocked 51.97 seconds under the 52-second qualifying standard set by the Athletics Federation of India for selection to the Commonwealth Games squad. Hima’s time is currently the sixth fastest amongst Commonwealth athletes this year.
Hima’s 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 told ESPN. In 2016 her PE teacher suggested that a football career would be hard and to try out an individual event.
After a few months of training on the muddy turf on which the rest of the school children played football, Das would compete at the state championships in Guwahati.
At the school nationals in February, Hima won a bronze in the 100m and a silver in the 200m. That saw her qualify for the Youth (U-18) Nationals in Hyderabad, where she won the same.
Her timing of 24.85seconds in the 200m event saw her qualify for the Asian Youth Championships in Bangkok in May. There she improved her timing to 24.52 seconds. Hima only finished seventh in Bangkok.
She qualified for the World Youth Championships in Nairobi. Unexpectedly, she nearly became the first Indian to win medal in a track event, eventually finishing fifth with a time of 24.31 seconds.