Article by Riya Bhargava
A dream does not become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work. The recipe of success is made up of multiple ingredients, like persistence, commitment, passion, practice and focus.
She always wanted to play football professionally for India. But envisioning no prospects for herself in women’s football in our country, she decided to switch to sprint running. And this decision, it seems, along with her following the recipe of success proved to be one of the best decisions of her life. She is none other than the 19-year old Hima Das, who in the month of July of 2019 alone won five gold medals internationally breaking records and ground.
Born in Kandhulimari village near the town of Dhing in the state of Assam, Hima is the youngest of the five children. She is nicknamed ‘The Dhing Express’ after her village and her successful records. She started her career in April 2018, competing in the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia. It took 18 months of excessive hard work for Hima to give a performance that has etched her name in the history of Indian sports forever.
On 12 July 2018, Das won the 400 m final at the World U-20 Championships 2018 held at Tampere, Finland, becoming the first Indian sprinter to win a gold medal at an international track event. At 2018 Asian Games, she won a silver medal in 400 m, in the meantime improving the national track record to 50.79 s. It is also fair to say that a big part of who Hima is today is because of her coach Nipon Das’s belief in her.
In her first competitive 200 m race of the year on July 2, Hima had clocked 23.65 s to win gold at the Poznan Athletics Grand Prix in Poland. Then on July 8, she won her second 200 m gold at the Kutno Athletics Meet in Poland. Braving a sore back, the Assam runner had clocked 23.97 seconds to win the gold. On July 13, she won her third 200 m gold at the Kladno Athletics Meet in Czech Republic with a time of 23.43 seconds while her fourth win came at the Tabor Athletics meet in the same country on 17th July. The Indian sprinter extended her sensational run by claiming her fifth gold of the month as she returned to her pet 400 m competition with a season-best time of 52.09 s in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic on 20th July 2019. She broke down in tears after the win. In an interview with The Times of India, her father Ranjit Das said: “I told her that we were all awake to watch her run on television and she cried.”
The golden girl from Assam has also in the past shown virtues of being conscious of her social duties and responsibilities. This was exemplified by her leading the protests for the ouster of country liquor shops in and around her village. Everyone seems in awe of Das, be it her fans on twitter or the President of India.
Das has the guts to do anything and everything, she is never afraid to speak out for what is wrong and is truly an inspiration for all.