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Hima Das, an athlete from Dhing of Assam’s Nagaon district, who represented India at the 21st Commonwealth Games in Goldcoast, Australia, stood sixth in the final of women’s 400 metre event on Wednesday.
The daughter of a rice farmer, Hima recorded her personal best timing of 51.32 on the way to a sixth place finish.
It was a brave performance by Hima considering that she was competing in her first Commonwealth Games.
She had finished third in her 400m women’s semifinal taking off 0.44 off her previous personal best, but eventually made the cut as the seventh fastest among eight finalists.
In a report published by ESPN on Wednesday quoted Hima Das as saying, “I’m so happy to have done the best I could at such a huge stage against some of the most fastest. It was thoroughly enjoyable.”
The report also stated staying eighth through the first stretch, she picked up pace nearing the final bend, going past Nigeria’s Yinka Ajayi and Australia’s Anneliese Rubie and was caught in a photo finish with Kenya’s Maximila Imali.
Coach Arvind Kumar, who trained the Assam girl during the camp for the Youth World Championships, where she finished fifth, says being positioned in the inside lane worked to Hima’s disadvantage in Wednesday’s race.
The report quoted Kumar as saying, “She has a lot of explosive speed, which helps her run the 400m. It’s a very tactical race. You cannot win just on speed. But she doesn’t have the experience yet. She can run even faster and needs more international competitions. Running from the inside lane can be hard if you’re not used it because the curve is quite big. So that also might have affected her performance.”
After Hima’s achievement in the CWG, Union Minister of State for Railways, Rajen Gohain, who is also the Nagaon MP, announced a Grade C job in the Railway department in Northeast. He also announced that the athlete from Assam will also get further facilities from the government in future.
Hima made history by becoming the first Indian woman to be qualified for 400 meter race in the final of CWG.