Born on January 9, 2000, holding the current Indian national record in 400 meters with a timing of 50.79 seconds, the Indian athlete Hima Das is making India Proud with her exponential win in 20 days.
Across Poland and Czech Republic, Das competed in four 200m and one 400m races in the various meets and she managed to win each one of them.
July 2, Poznan: 200m gold (23.65 seconds)
July 7, Kunto: 200m gold (23.97 seconds)
July 13, Kladno: 200m gold (23.43 seconds)
July 17, Tabor: 200m gold (23.25 seconds)
July 20, Prague: 400m gold (52.09 seconds)
This is the timings of Hima Das, whose fame grew exponentially after winning five gold medals inside 20 days. She is the first Indian athlete to win a gold medal in a track event at the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federation) World U20 Championships.
In Olympic sports, India has been deprived of success be it track or field events.
Dutee Chand won the gold medal at the World University Games in Napoli earlier this month, and messages from all over the nation couldn’t stop. Social media went crazy with Chand and Das’s achievements after she won the 100m gold with a timing of 10.32 seconds. Not only these celebrities, sportspersons, and politicians tweeted and shared the video of her race.
And once again another video of hers has gone viral. The video, circulated initially as the race where she won her fifth gold medal, is from the U20 World Championships last year. Das became popular in a matter of hours after this. The people praising her success, have got this all wrong.
Following this On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind and few other politicians had tweeted about Das whereas Bollywood stars did it a day before.
It was shared well by the journalist with the caption “goosebumps and tears.”
Everyone got emotional with this old video, which clearly shows us that we care about trending topics and not primarily the achievements of our athletes.
After knowing the mistake, may of the clarified that it was an old video but did not remove it as it was still a matter of pride.
Das gave her best effort in 200m during the four races with 23.25 seconds. The other 200m races hold little relevance as the one in Tabor places Das at 128th in the world and it will not get her a position in the Top 100 in the world for this year.
In the two meets in Poznan and Kunto, she competed with club level athletes from Poland and few from Thailand. None of the athletes had better personal timing than Das, so it would have been a shock if she would have not won.
Looking at all her wins, she has still not qualified for the September World Championships, which would have been her real test.
The ray of hope diminishes if we look at her competition in 400m, her pet event. The Prague race had two groups i.e. A and B. The group in which Das ran was an all-Indian race and she won with a timing of 52.09 seconds. Das will have to clock 22.80 seconds if she wants to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics on the basis of her timing. That would mean that she has to break the current national record of 22.82 seconds and her personal best timing of 23.10 seconds.
To qualify for the 400m at the Olympics, she will need a time of 51.35 seconds, which as she showed in the Asian Games [where she clocked 50.79] is something she is capable of achieving.
We should consider other factors too, like the pressure of a qualifying event, performing at the biggest stage, competing against top-class athletes from the USA, Jamaica, Europe, and China.
Hima Das needs all the support and we should also celebrate her wins in the past few days. The praise she is getting is something every athlete deserves to have.
We are definitely excited for her coming races and wish her all the best but before ‘fans’ start tweeting ‘Olympic medal coming our way, queen of Indian athletics’, everyone should consider one thing that no top-level sportsperson competes in five races over different distances inside 20 days and wins them. We should be proud of it.
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