The new poster girl of Indian sports, track queen Hima Das of Assam will be provided “end-to-end” support towards her preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics under the Government’s Target Olympics Podium Scheme (TOPS).
A Times of India report quoted Sports India (erstwhile SAI) DG Neelam Kapur as saying, “Under the scheme, in addition to the Rs 50,000 per month as out of pocket allowance (OPA), she would be provided end to end support towards her Olympic preparation by the Government.”
The 18-year-old track sensation from Assam’s Nagaon district was inducted in Sports Ministry’s TOP scheme in May 2018 after her excellent performance at the Commonwealth Games (CWG) 2018 held in Australia, where she ran her then personal best of 51.32.
The report further stated that as per an earlier list, Hima was supposed to be funded by the Government only until the upcoming 2018 Asian Games. But, Hima becoming the first Indian woman, in fact, the first Indian to win a gold medal at the World Under-20 Athletics Championships in Tampere, Finland, on Thursday, stopped the nation in its tracks, and made the Government as well as the Sports Ministry change its decision.
Hima, who put up a “stupendous performance” at the CWG held this year at Gold Coast, Queensland, in Australia, was sent with other 400 m runners to Spala Olympic Training Centre in Poland for a month-long training in May this year, which was also funded by the Government.
After that, this young Assamese girl ran her personal best of 51.13s at the Inter-State Championship in Guwahati in June this year. After the U-20 World Championship, she would be joining the other Indian 400m runners for the pre-Asian Games camp which has been funded by the Government under the Annual Calendar for Training and Competition.