India’s young athlete Hima Das has become a darling of the 1.3 billion nation after winning not one, two or three but five gold medals in a span of less than three weeks. Yes, you have heard it right – the Assam-born sprinter has pulled off this magnificent feat by clinching five gold medals in a month at different university meets in Europe. Hima’s latest gold came on Saturday in Prague where she clocked a season-best time of 52.09 seconds to win the gold in 400m at the Nove Mesto nad Metuji Grand Prix. Her personal best is 50.79 seconds, which she recorded at the 2018 Asian Games.
Shot to fame after winning the top prize at U-20 World Championships, Hima has been one of India’s finds in athletics in the past one year. Since her achievement on the track and field circuit, the accolades have been flowing for the teenage sensation. However, the latest ones are coming from none other than cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar and India’s honourable Prime Minister – Narendra Modi. On Sunday, Tendulkar expressed his admiration for the 19-year-old ace sprinter through a tweet.
“Loving the way you have been running in the European circuit over the last 19 days. Your hunger to win and perseverance is an inspiration for the youth. Congrats on your 5 Medals! All the best for the future races, @HimaDas8. (sic.)” Tendulkar tweeted.
The Assam sprinter, however, failed to qualify for the World Athletics Championships as the 400m qualification mark for the world event has been kept as 51.80 seconds. Earlier, Hima had won the gold in 200m at the Tabor Athletics Meet.
PM Modi also hailed the Hima on her remarkable feat, he wrote on his official Twitter handle – “India is very proud of @HimaDas8’s phenomenal achievements over the last few days. Everyone is absolutely delighted that she has brought home five medals in various tournaments. Congratulations to her and best wishes for her future endeavours”.
In her first competitive 200m race of the year on July 2, Hima had clocked 23.65 seconds to win gold at the Poznan Athletics Grand Prix in Poland. Then on July 8, she won her second 200m gold at the Kutno Athletics Meet in Poland. Braving a sore back, the Assam runner had clocked 23.97 seconds to win the gold while Kerala runner V.K. Vismaya had grabbed silver with a timing of 24.06 seconds.
On July 13, she won her third 200m gold at the Kladno Athletics Meet in the Czech Republic with a time of 23.43 seconds.