Sprinter Hima Das has been nominated for the prestigious ‘Khel Ratna’ by the Assam government.
A PTI report stated that Assam Sports Secretary Dulal Chandra Das sent a letter of recommendation to the sports ministry on June 5. Athletics Federation of India (AFI) has also confirmed receiving a letter.
With this, Hima becomes one of the youngest nominees for Khel Ratna this year at the age of 20. The other nominees are javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, wrestler Vinesh Phogat, TT player Manika Batra, women’s hockey captain Rani Rampal and cricketer Rohit Sharma for the country’s highest sporting honour.
Hima, who is from Dhing in Assam, hit the limelight in 2018 when she won the 400 m final at the World U-20 Championships held at Tampere, Finland, clocking 51.46 seconds and becoming the first Indian sprinter to win a gold medal at an international track event.
The sprinter is already a recipient of Arjuna Award, which she received in 2018. She holds the current Indian national record in 400 metres with the timing of 50.79 seconds that she clocked at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia.
She also won a silver medal in the 4×400m mixed relay in 2018 Asian Games, which was later upgraded to gold.
AFI insiders, however, said that since she had no medals in the last two years, apart from the Asiad team medals, she did not stand a chance.