18-year-old Hima Das etched her name in Indian athletics history on July 12 at the Ratina Stadium, Finland when she became the first Indian to win a gold medal in an international track event. Das completed the 400 m race in 51.46 seconds when she picked up speed in the last few seconds of the event, leaving behind her competitors.
Das has received accolades from almost everyone from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Amitabh Bachchan to Virender Sehwag. If seeing her race past the contestants in lane 4 wasn’t enough for us to swell with pride, a video – that is now being widely shared on social media – of tears rolling down her cheeks will surely give you goosebumps.
Here’s the video:
Goosebumps guaranteed. Tears of joy ,pride and love for the motherland. The Gold from @HimaDas8 is a priceless jewel. Thank you Hima, have become a huge fan of you for being a terrific athlete, fir becoming our hope ,and for being a wonderful person. pic.twitter.com/iAbojjBcdR
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) July 14, 2018
Hima accelerated in the last 80 metres. According to her Indian coach Nipon Das, that’s how she runs and he was not worried about Hima not winning the race. Here’s the video of her historic 400 m sprint:
It is hard to believe that Hima participated in her first competitive race just 18 months before the World Championship sprint. Hima’s talent was recognised when she was playing football with the boys in mud pits. She followed the advice of a local coach and took up athletics.
She was not used to running with spikes initially. She couldn’t afford expensive spikes since she comes from a humble background being the daughter of a rice farmer in Nagaon district of Assam.