Hima Das is an 18-year-old athlete from India who made history for being the country’s first gold medallist at a global track event.
The young sprinter, who hails from the state of Assam, claimed her historic win in Finland via the 400-meter final at Tampere’s World U20 Championships on Thursday. She captured the gold medal by clocking 51.46 seconds in the final at the Ratina Stadium.
Das’ victory earns her a spot in the elite club of Indian athletes who have won medals at the World U20 Championships, which includes Seema Punia (Bronze, Discus throw), Navjeet Kaur Dhillon (Bronze, Discus throw) and Neeraj Chopra (Gold, Javelin throw).
“Bringing a medal for the country is the biggest achievement and that is why I am very happy. I am very proud to give this gift to the people of India,”
Das was quoted as saying by NDTV
“I wanted the Indian national anthem to be played and making that happen made me cry with joy,” she said.
Das also thanked her parents and coaches for support, and the people of India for their blessings. She noted that her victory is only the beginning and that she would continue to strive for excellence.
Jubilant netizens, including India’s biggest celebrities, immediately took to Twitter to shower the athlete with praise and congratulatory messages.
Meanwhile, a tweet from the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) sparked a bit of a controversy for commenting on the athlete’s “English skills.”