Assam’s golden girl Hima Das on Tuesday said she didn’t expect to be nominated for the Arjuna award this year, despite her stunning season in international athletics.
18-year-old Hima was among the 20 sportspersons recommended for the Arjuna Award, which is subject to approval by Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.
Hima was also made the brand ambassador of the sports manufacturing giant Adidas.
Nicknamed the “Dhing Express”, Hima has been a sensation this year as she added three medals – a gold and two silvers from the 18th Asian Games – to her World Championship gold.
The star sprinter won gold in women’s 4×400m and silver medals in mixed 4x400m and 400m individual event.
Asked when she will start training, Hima said, “The season is over now. Next year, there is South Asian Games, Asian Championship and World Championship, so how to approach the different events and how to prepare I will do it during training.”
Asked which race she holds close to her heart, Hima said: “The Finland (World Junior Championship) race remains one of my favourites and also the semifinal at Asian Games when it had started raining.”
Hima had produced her personal best timing of 50.79 secs to win silver at the 400m race.
“There are few targets in my mind. I will do that one by one. People expects a lot for me now and I will achieve that. I scored 50.79 at Asian Games, so even 50.78 is a step ahead,” she said, reports The Assam Tribune.
“I thrive in competition, it feels good to improve timings and create records.”
Asked about the contribution of India’s foreign coach Galina Petrova Bukharina, Hima said: “She is very supportive. She herself is an Olympian and sometimes we also don’t realize her methods and later we come to know why we did a particular training. So we always come prepared everyday for the challenge that she will throw at us.”
Asked if she will participate at the National Open Athletics Championships to be held in Bhubaneswar, Odisha on September 25.
“At this moment, I haven’t decided if I will participate in the open Nationals. Lets see,” said Hima, who had withdrawn from IAAF Continental Cup which was held on September 8 and 9.
Hima gets the crowd involved exuding confidence ahead of her races.