18-year-old sprint sensation Hima Das has withdrawn from the IAAF Continental Cup, scheduled to be held in the Czech Republic from Saturday. Hima has opted out of the tournament as the Athletics Federation of India wants her to give rest after a hectic season which saw her become the junior world 400m champion.
The Continental Cup is competed among four teams — Europe, Africa, America and Asia-Pacific — in 18 events each in both men and women’s sections and the mixed 4x400m relay. The top two athletes in the season’s rankings from each of the four regions take part in the Continental Cup.
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She was initially among seven Indian athletes who were to take part in the season-ending IAAF event in Ostrava on September 8 and 9 but has now been replaced by Australia’s Anneliese Rubbie as the second runner from Asia-Pacific.
“Yes, Hima is not running in the IAAF Continental Cup. The AFI has decided to give her rest. She has run so many races this year from the Commonwealth Games to the World Juniors and the Asian Games. It is not good to make her run so many races,” a top coach told PTI on Friday.
The 18-year-old from a small village in Assam created history by becoming the first Indian to win a track gold in World Junior Championships in Finland in July. In the just-concluded Asian Games in Indonesia, she broke two national records in a span of two days in the women’s 400m (51.00 and 50.79 seconds) race though she had to be content with a silver behind Salwa Naser (50.09) of Bahrain.
Hima was also part of the gold-winning 4x400m relay team and silver-winning mixed 4x400m relay quartet.
(With PTI inputs)