By Linus Garg
Consistency is the hallmark of a great sportsperson and Hima Das is just showing that on the European circuit. The diminutive sprinter from Dhing village in Assam has won five gold medals in the 200 and 400 metres events, showing class and consistency hitherto not seen from Indian athletes.
Hima's dream winning run on the circuit started on July 2 when she won her first gold medal at the Poznan Athletics Grand Prix in Poland with a timing of 23.65 seconds in the 200 metres. While this was much below her personal best 23.10 seconds, it was enough to decimate the field. Her next gold came in the Kutno Athletics Meet, again in Poland. This time she ran the 200 metres race in 23.95 seconds as she was suffering from a sore back. Next, at the Klando Athletics Meet in the Czech Republic, she clocked a timing of 23.43 seconds to win gold in 200 metres. After that it was at Tabor Athletics meet in the same nation and she clocked 23.25 seconds. Her fifth gold came in the 400 metres at Nove Mesto Grand Prix in the Czech Republic, clocking 52.09 seconds. But disappointment lurked as she failed to qualify in 400 metres for the World Athletics Championships as the qualification mark was 51.80 seconds. Her personal best in the discipline is 50.79 seconds.
But Hima is just 19 and has many years of running before her. With the support she is now receiving from many quarters, she is only going to become better and bring many more laurels for the country. She is a youth icon and an inspiration for the many athletes who come from the backwaters, are not privileged and lack even the basic training facilities in their earlier years. She has shown them that it is not impossible to be a world-beater if you have the talent, are not afraid of working hard and are persevering enough to single-mindedly pursue your goal.