51.46 seconds were what it took Assam’s teenage sensation Hima Das to leave 125 crore Indians mesmerised as she ran past a glory that no Indians had ever achieved till date.
Hima on Thursday created history in Finland when she won the gold medal in the women’s 400 metre event at the IAAF World U20 Championships to become the first Indian athlete to win gold in a world championship across all age groups.
Indians woke up to the uplifting news and reacted with awe. Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan wrote, “Woke up and felt a genuine wave of Pride Love & inspiration. What an amazing athlete you are…#HimaDas Kya Baat hai!”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote, “Modi “India is delighted and proud of athlete Hima Das, who won a historic Gold in the 400m of World U20 Championships. Congratulations to her! This accomplishment will certainly inspire young athletes in the coming years.”
Congress President Rahul Gandhi posted the video of Hima’s race and wrote, “In the video below, you will see what makes Hima Das, Gold medalist at the world under-20 Athletics Championship, in Finland, so special! This is India’s first ever Gold in a track event at a world championship. I salute her achievement & congratulate her on her historic win.”
In the video below, you will see what makes Hima Das, Gold medalist at the world under-20 Athletics Championship, in Finland, so special!
This is India’s first ever Gold in a track event at a world championship.
I salute her achievement & congratulate her on her historic win. pic.twitter.com/N4q62mVecM
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) July 13, 2018
Hima is the daughter of a rice farmer in Assam and is the youngest of her six siblings.
On Thursday, she left behind Andrea Miklos of Romania, who took silver with a personal best time of 52.07 seconds, while Taylor Manson of the US registered 52.28 seconds to finish third. After creating history, an ecstatic Hima went to the Indian contingent and collected the tradition Assamese stole and the Indian national flag before taking the lap of honour.
Hima had done well in the earlier rounds as well, winning Heat 4 with a time of 52.25 seconds. She emerged on top in the semi-finals as well, winning her race in 52.10 seconds.
Jisna Matthew, the other Indian in the fray, also showed early promise, winning Heat 5 with a time of 54.32 seconds. But the Kerala girl crashed out in the semi-finals, where she finished fifth with 53.86 seconds.