July 12th, 2019 saw a world record being cracked by the Indian athlete Hima Das who made history by becoming the first ever Indian track and field gold medallist at the IAAF World Championships held in Finland. Hima Das claimed the gold defeating Romania’s Andrea Milkos (who claimed the silver) with a timing of 51.46 seconds at the women’s 400-meter event. Not much is known about this Indian sprinter who is just 18 years old!
Read on to know some of the basic as well as interesting facts about Hima.
1. Birth and Family
Hima Das was born on the 9th of January 2000 in Kandhulimari village near the town Dhing in Asaam. Her parents, Ronjit Das and Jonali Das are farmers by occupation. Hima has four siblings and she is the youngest in the family. Hima Das caste is Bengali Kayastha, ethnically she’s Bengali and Assamese.
2. Hima did her schooling from the Dhing Public High School and Assam Higher Secondary Education Council.
She passed her 12th exam in May 2019.
3. Football was her first interest
During her schooldays, Hima was interested in football and would play football with the boys. Although she wanted to pursue a career in football, her physical education teacher Shamsul Hoque convinced her to change her line to sprint running, as they did not see football as the right career option for her.
4. Start of career
Hima completed state championship in Guwahati in a 100 m race with bronze medal.
5. Surprised everyone with her raw strength
Hima made to the finals of Junior National Championships held in Coimbatore.’
6. The two coaches who turned her life around
Although, Hima took up sprint, she didn’t had any proper training facilities in the area she resided in. Then stepped in athletics coach Nabajit Malakar and Nipon Das, the two coaches took the responsibility and talked to Hima’s family to allow her to stay in Guwahati for better training facilities.
7. Hima didn’t own any sporting gear two years ago
It was just two year ago Hima got her first pair of spikes. Before that she didn’t had access to any sporting gears, gadgets or apparel.
8. International debut
Her sprint career began full-fledged in April 2018 when she participated in the 2018 Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast, Australia. She was finalist, however, she finished on the sixth position.
9. The first Indian sprinter to win a gold medal at an international track event
Hima won the 400 m final at the World U-20 Championships 2018 which were held at Tempere in Finland. The first Indian sprinter to do so.
10. In September 2018, Hima signed an endorsement deal with the international brand Adidas.
11. Hima Das was awarded the Arjuna Award by the President of India on 25, September 2018.
12. In November 2018, Hima was appointed as India’s first ever youth ambassador of UNICEF-India.
13. In the month of July 2019, she has won a total of 5 gold medals for India
The stint began at the Poznan Athletics Grand Prix held in Poland where she won gold in 200m with a timing of 23.65 seconds. After that, she won a 200 m gold at Kutno Athletics Meet which were also held in Poland with a timing of 23.97 seconds. The winning streak carried on with Hima bagging gold for a 200 m at the Kladno Athletics Meet in Czech Republic with a time of 23.43 seconds. She won another gold at the Tabor Athletics Meet for a 200 m with a timing of 23.35 seconds. And finally, she bagged her fifth gold medal in the same month in a 400 m event Nove Mesto, Czech Republic.
14. Appointed as Assam’s Brand Ambassador for sports by the Government of Assam.
15. Hima is lovingly called the ‘Dhing Express’ after her achievements in the field of sports.
With so many achievements at such a young age, it’s the beginning of a fantastic career. May she carry on with her winning streak and win many more golds!