Hima Das creates history for Indian athletics, wins gold at World U20 Championships

India’s Hima Das created history by winning the gold medal in the women’s 400 metre event at the IAAF World U20 Championships at Tampere, Finland on Thursday.

Hima registered a time of 51.46 seconds in the final at the Ratina Stadium to become the first Indian track athlete to win gold in a world championship across all age groups.

Speaking after winning gold, Hima said that she was happy with her performance. She thanked her coach Nipon Das for helping and guiding her. “I’m very happy. She is a rare talent. She will achieve many more in coming days,” Hima’s coach Nipon Das told The News Mill.

Andrea Miklos of Romania took silver with a personal best time of 52.07 seconds. Taylor Manson of the US registered 52.28 seconds to finish third.

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.

Hima’s feat became the talk of the nation. Congratulating the Assam athlete, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: “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.”

President Ram Nath Kovind tweeted in Assamese to express his delight. “Congratulations to our sensational sprint star Hima Das for winning the 400m gold in the World Under-20 Championship. This is India’s first ever track gold in a World Championship. A very proud moment for Assam and India, Hima; now the Olympic podium beckons!” the president’s office tweeted.

Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal tweeted a photograph of Hima Das wearing the traditional Assamese gamusa and holding the Indian Tricolour proudly. “Congratulations to Hima Das for winning Women’s 400m Gold at @iaaforg World U20 Athletics Championship in Finland. Assam’s sprint sensation has scripted history by becoming the first Indian athlete to do so in a track event. Keep on believing & keep on making the nation proud!” he tweeted.

Celebrities too joined the nation to celebrate the feat of the athlete.

Amitabh Bachchan: Congratulation. Hima Das, the first Indian women to win a gold in world athletic track event ever! India is proud of you. You have given us reason to hold up our heads high! Jai Hind!

Rohit Sharma: Incredible effort from Hima Das for winning gold medal for the country. No words can describe the feelings of this impeccable feat.

PT Usha: Heartiest congratulations to #HimaDas for such an incredible performance at the World Championships.

Shatrugan Sinha: Yet another brilliant performance from India’s daughter… Kudos to India’s Hima Das who made history by becoming our first track athlete to become a world champion at any level after winning the women’s 400m at the U-20 World Championships in Tampere, Finland, on Thursday. Hima Das.

Akshay Kumar: Historic! Congratulations Hima Das for winning India’s first gold at a global track event in Under – 20 World Athletics. Nicely done.

Farhan Akhtar: Congratulations Hima Das. 400 metre winner in world Under-20 championships. Proud moment. It is amazing that it coincides with the five year anniversary of ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ and Milkhaji’s biggest dream was to witness an Indian athlete win gold in track and field.

Arjun Rampal: Congratulations Hima Das for this stupendous feat. The toughest race 400 metres. The first Indian athlete to win a title in any track event. Huge day for Indian athletics.

Dia Mirza: Proud proud proud! What an incredible day Hima Das. India.

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