असम की रहने वाली 18 वर्षीय हीमा दास के फिनलैंड में विश्व अंडर 20 चैंपियनशिप में एथलेटिक्स का ऐतिहासिक स्वर्ण पदक
असम की रहने वाली 18 वर्षीय हिमा दास के फिनलैंड में विश्व अंडर 20 चैंपियनशिप में एथलेटिक्स का ऐतिहासिक स्वर्ण पदक जीतने के साथ ही उनके गांव धींग और आस पास के क्षेत्र में रहने वाली स्थानीय लोग जश्न में डूब गए हैं। असम के नागोन जिले स्थित धींग गांव के धान की खेती करने वाले किसान की बेटी हीमा का आईएएएफ विश्व अंडर-20 चैंपियनशिप में 400 मीटर रेस में स्वर्ण पदक जीतना इसलिये बड़ी उपलब्धि है क्योंकि यह विश्व मंच पर भी देश का पहला ट्रैक स्वर्ण है तथा यह कामयाबी हासिल करने वाली वह पहली महिला भारतीय एथलीट हैं।
On the day the 18-year-old, Hima Das, raced to grab the gold medal at the World U20 Championship in Tampere, Finland, much to the awe of her countrymen, especially people of Assam, the rustic playground at Kandhulimari village under Bilotiya Gaon panchayat in Assam’s Dhing constituency, where she used to practice was in knee-deep water.“This should speak volume of how much grit and determination she has required to drive herself to the hallowed podium where she has reached today,” said one of Hima’s teachers in Dhing College, Biman Hazarika, exuding confidence that this gritty athlete in horizon is yet to give her best timing.Hima couldn’t appear for her Higher Secondary (Class 12) Arts stream final examination this year as she had to participate in the Commonwealth Games.Born to paddy farmer Ranjit Das and Jonali Das of Kandhulimari village, Hima has been a livewire since her childhood.She used to play more with village boys than girls. One of her passion is playing football. She used to be hired by various women football teams in the area to participate in different rural tournaments in the state.The eldest of three siblings, Hima was encouraged and facilitated more by elder brother of her father and her aunt, a retired school teacher to pursue her dream in the field of athletics.Her entire family watched her performance last night on the TV screen at her village home. Her excited father said, “We are sure Hima will go much farther in her pursuit for excellence. She has been training so hard day in and day out, in summer and in cold winter mornings to keep her motivated and on track.”“This happy-go-luck athlete does not know what tension is. On June 28 last, I had talked to her advising her not be tense before her performance. She laughed and asked ‘what is tension sir’. This is her spirit,” said Professor Hazarika who teaches History in Dhing College.At the initial stage of her career, Hima used to take tips from Samsul Haque, the physical education teacher at Nagaon Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya located at Dhing as there was no professional coach available to her at that time.An NCC cadet in Dhing College, Hima firmly believes it is the sheer will power complemented by relentless hard work that brings success and support comes in plenty along with success.It has been a spectacular rather a dream rise from amid the typical paddy fields of rural Assam, Nagaon, to making India proud by becoming the first Indian woman to win gold at the World U20 Championships in 400 meter race. Hima was a favourite to win gold as she is the Under-20 season leader in this quarter-mile event.Das clocked an Indian Under-20 record of 51.32 seconds to finish sixth in the Commonwealth Games 400m final in Gold Coast in April this year. She was only 1.17 seconds behind gold medallist Amantle Montsho from Botswana.In the 4×400 metres relay she was part of the Indian team that competed in the final where they finished seventh in a time of three minutes and 33.61 seconds.Since the promise shown at the Commonwealth Games, Hima has gone on to improving her timings. She lowered the Indian Under-20 record in 400m to 51.13 seconds while winning gold at the National Inter-State Championships in Guwahati recently.The historic feat in Finland is also significant for the sprinter, considering that it has come less than two years from taking part in her first competition – an inter-district competition in Assam in 2016.Her coach Nipon Das said he wasn’t worried when Hima wasn’t among the top three at the final curve.