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Hima Das becomes first Indian woman to win gold in World Junior Athletics

Indian sprinter Hima Das scripted history on July 12, 2018 by becoming the first Indian woman athlete to win a gold medal in the women's 400m final race at the IAAF World Under-20 Athletics Championships, held in Tampere, Finland.

The 18-year-old, a pre-tournament favourite, finished the race in 51.46s. However, this wasn’t her personal best, as she had clocked 51.13 last month in Guwahati at the National Inter-State Championships.

The Firsts

With the win, Das has become the first Indian woman, be it junior or senior, to win a gold medal at any level in a World Championship.

She is also the first Indian, man or woman, to have won a gold in a track event at the world level.

In fact, Das is the first Indian track athlete to have won a medal in the history of this competition.

She now joins Indian star Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, who won a gold medal in the 2016 edition of the IAAF World U20 Championships, which were held in Bydgoszcz, Poland.

Other Indian medal winners at the World Junior Championships incude Seema Punia, who won bronze in discus throw in 2002 and Navjeet Kaur Dhillon, who also won a bronze medal in discus throw in 2014.

About Hima Das

The sprinter belongs to Dhing village in Assam's Nagaon distrist. She took up serious running only in 2017.

Das had earlier clocked an Indian U-20 record of 51.32 seconds to finish sixth in the Commonwealth Games 400m final in Gold Coast in April 2018.

Since then, she has improved her timings. She bettered her previous performance and lowered India’s U-20 record in 400m by clocking 51.13 seconds in the recent National Inter-State Championships in Guwahati.

In the IAAF World Under-20 Athletics Championships, Das was the favourite to win the gold, as she was the U-20 season leader in this quarter-mile event.

Running in lane number 4, Das was behind Romania’s Andrea Miklos at the final bend but produced a stunning show during the final 50m stretch to cross the finishing line well ahead of others to clinch the gold.

While Miklos settled for silver with 52.07 seconds, USA’s Taylor Manson came third with 52.28 seconds.

 

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