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Assam’s sprint queen Hima Das started as favourite to win the women’s 400m race gold in the IAAF World Under-20 Athletics Championships in Finland on Monday.
The 18-year-old Das is the U-20 season leader in this quartermile event.
Das clocked an Indian U-20 record of 51.32 seconds to finish sixth in the Commonwealth Games 400m final in Gold Coast in April. Since then, she has gone onto improving her timings. She lowered the Indian U-20 record in 400m to 51.13 seconds while winning gold in the recent National Inter State Championships in Guwahati.
She has been named in the Indian contingent for the upcoming Asian Games. She has joined the team in Finland from Czech Republic where she has been training after the Guwahati event.
A 15-member 400m team (7 women and 8 men) has been sent by the Athletics Federation of India at the Praha Jablonec Sports Complex near Prague as part of preparations for the Asian Games.
Das is leading a 31-member Indian athletics team at the six-day championship and she is not the only athlete who will be competing for medals.