In a landmark event for Indian track events, Indian sprinter Hima Das won India’s first-ever gold as she posted time of 51.46 seconds in 400 metres in women’s final at IAAF World Under-20 Athletics Championships on Thursday.
A day after storming into the women’s 400m final as the fastest runner in the semifinals heats, Hima Das broke a record to become the first Indian to get a gold in track events. She was the favourite to win the gold as she was the U-20 season leader in this quartermile event.
Running in lane number 4, Das was behind Romania’s Andrea Miklos at the final bend but produced a stunning show during the final stretch to cross the finishing line well ahead of others to win gold. Miklos settled for silver at 52.07 seconds while Taylor Manson of USA was third at 52.28.
“I am very happy to win the gold in the World Junior championships. I want to thank all the Indians back home and also those, who were here cheering me. It was very encouraging to have this kind of support,” Hima said after the race.
— Nikhil Naz (@NikhilNaz) 12 July 2018
Becoming the first Indian track event athlete to ever win a medal in the history of the competition, Das now joins star Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, who won a gold in Poland in the last edition in 2016 in a world record effort. The previous medal winners at the World Junior Championships were Seema Punia (bronze in discus in 2002) and Navjeet Kaur Dhillon (bronze in discus in 2014).
The 18-year old had clocked an Indian U-20 record of 51.32 seconds to finish sixth in the Commonwealth Games 400m final in Gold Coast in April. Since then, she has gone onto improving her timings. She lowered the Indian U-20 record in 400m to 51.13 seconds while winning gold in the recent National Inter State Championships in Guwahati.