Can Hima still make the cut for World Championships?

Hima Das is going to run her heart out on Thursday (September 19) at Pardubice in Czech Republic in a bid to sneak into the Indian 4×400 relay team through back door for the World Athletic Championship at Doha beginning next month.

Hima Das’ participation in the World Championships relay events became a matter of intense speculation after she was left out of the initial entries. 


Just a year ago, the quarter milers were a very confident lot after winning the women’s 4x400m relay gold at the Jakarta Asian Games but now, with the World Championships a fortnight away, the selectors and coaches appear to be still scratching their heads over their combination for Doha.

Meanwhile said Radhakrishnan Nair, the Deputy Chief National Coach informs the media that Hima is running on Thursday at Pardubice in Czech Republic to take the final call whether she could be inducted or not.

The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) had on September 9 named seven women, including Hima, for the 4x400m relay and 4x400m mixed relay races. But it is learnt that Hima’s name was missing in the initial entry of Indian women athletes for the two relay races submitted by AFI to the IAAF for the September 27 to October 6 showpiece event in Doha.

Jisna Mathew, M.R. Poovamma, Revathi Veeramani, Subha Venkatesan, V,K. Vismaya and Ramraj Vithya have been entered for the women’s 4x400m relay, while Hima’s name is missing.

The 19-year-old Assamese runner was also not entered for the 4x400m mixed relay race. Jisna, Poovamma and Vismaya were named along with Jacob Amoj, Muhammed Anas and Noah Tom Nirmal.

The AFI, however, played a little trick which could give a backdoor entry to Hima. The IAAF allows only six names to be entered for the relay races but the AFI had named seven women. The seventh women is Hima Das. If she does make it on Thursday, she will jump place one up and replace the sixth women in the relay team at Doha.

There have been confusing signals about Hima the last few months and she has run just two 400m races after pulling out midway through the quarter-mile in the Asian championships in Doha in April. Surprisingly, Hima has run five 200m races during this period.

The talk doing the rounds is that Hima, who won the under-20 World 400m title last year, has not fully recovered from the back injury that troubled her at the Asians but that is not very convincing.

The ‘trial’ at Pardubice should clear some of the confusion.

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