Terming Hima Das as a bright prospect for Indian sports scene, Arjuna awardee athlete from Assam Bhogeswar Barua, asked the young track sensation to stay away from felicitation events and focus on her game for the 2020 Olympics.
Barua, who won gold in 800 metre event in 1966 Asian Games, also said that the improvement Hima has shown over the last two years has been phenomenal.
Hima Das won the silver in 400 metre at the Asian Games in Jakarta with a record run in 50.79 seconds to better her own timing which was set in the Heat 1 of the semi-final race. She established a new national record with her final run.
“She is a fantastic girl. I’m extremely delighted to see her progress in every race. I’m happier at her timing than the medal. This is just phenomenal and she has a long way to go. She is definitely a bright prospect for India in the Olympics in Japan,” Barua told The News Mill on Monday.
In the process, Hima becomes the first woman from Assam to win a medal at the Asian Games and fourth overall after Bhogeswar Barua, Joydeep Das (shooting) and Jayanta Talukdar (archery).
Barua is also awed to see the physical and mental fitness of the 18-year-old athlete.
“She should be left alone in mental peace and to carry on with her practices. There is no point of wasting time in felicitation programmes. I’m telling you there is just two years left for the Olympics. And she should be focused at that. And everyone should understand that,” Barua added.
He also stressed that Hima should be sent abroad for better training facilities.
Hima became a household name in the state after she scripted history in Finland in July by wining gold to become the first ever Indian to have won gold at any international championship.
And her parents Ranjit Das and Jonali Das suddenly became busy in their remote Kandulimari village in Nagaon district receiving guests – especially journalists, top politicians including chief minister and former CMs and sports organizers among others.