Hima Das, also known as the “Dhing Express”, is an Indian sprint runner from Assam.
Hima Das was born in a poor family near Kandhulimari village in Assam’s Nagaon district on 9 January. Her parents, Ronjit and Jonali Das belong to the indigenous Kaibarta community. Both of them do farming to support the family. Hima ‘s achievement is even more remarkable if we consider that she started using spikes only a couple of years ago. Due to the unavailability of a professional running track, she had to practice on a muddy football field. She has rose among the ranks with her sheer hard work and dedication.
The eldest of the six siblings, Hima’s superior talent first came to light at an inter-district meet back in 2016. However, in spite of the lack of training facilities and equipment available, the resilient sprinter scalped a bronze medal in the state meet. Later that year, she reached the 100m final at the junior nationals.
After the initial development, Hima Das built on that success to compete well in the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Das tasted her first-ever win. Her maiden accomplishment came in the 400m final at the World U-20 Championships 2018 held at Tampere in Finland. She became the first Indian sprinter to win a gold medal at an international track event.
The 2018 Asian Games, she set new national record in 400m and won 4X400 Silver with Indian Team. Hima also won a silver medal in the 4×400 m mixed relay.
Such achievements fetched her Arjuna Award in 2018. The Government of Assam appointed her as the state’s brand ambassador for sports. Later that year, UNICEF-India appointed Hima as India’s first ever youth ambassador. Furthermore, the Indian government provided Hima Das ‘end-to-end’ funding until the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
She went through back problems in 2019 and remained away from competition a while but came roaring back with 4 golds in 15 days in international meets. A feat unimaginable in Indian Athletics. She won gold medal at her first competitive 200m race of the year in the Poznan Athletics Grand Prix, in Poland. She followed it with Golds at Kutno Athletics Meet in Poland, Kladno Memorial Athletics Meet at Kladno, Czech Republic and Tabor Athletics Meet in Czech Republic.
She then demonstrated that she has heart of Gold as well when she donated half of salary for Assam flood victims.
Hope she continues to blaze new paths in Indian Athletics.