Hima Das : Assam’s greatest athlete

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Till she clinched the Gold in the 4x400m, we held back the adjectives. Because Bhogeswar Barua had a gold in the Bangkok Asiad in 1966 and gold is always a gold.

This evening Hima did not leave anything for doubt. Silencing all the hullabaloo around her, today she ran the most decisive run of her life when she surprised all by being the lead runner of the women’s 4x400m of the women team.

With her reputation being a tremendous accelerator, she was supposed to run the encore with her bête noire Salwa Naser of Bahrain.

But the coach Ginneie played a master stroke and at the very last minute she replaced the order and made Hima the lead runner which was not noticed by Bahraini team management.

The Indian coach wanted the best girl in the lead, considered a very bold move in the world of athletics as the fastest runner of the quartet always take the anchor position.

But within the second curve, it was all clear that how smart the move was as she opened a lead of 100 meter. The second and third runner maintained the lead losing some lead to Bahrainis but when the baton come to the forth girl, it was too much for even great Salwa to catch up.

With one gold and two silver, this is the richest haul by any athletes from Assam ever. She already pocketed silver for 400m and another silver in the mixed 4×400 and in the last event of this Asian Games she got the gold.

She was disqualified for 200m for a false start, but that was more tactical by the team management so that she could go full blast in the 4×400 women team and she did not disappoint her coach.

She is likely to return home from Asian Games on September 01 and a tumultuous reception is awaiting home as Assam has finally got an icon it has been waiting for decades.

 

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