The Northeast, as well as the rest of the country, would never forget the moment when Hima Das raced to the finish line, by inching in front of her competitors, and eventually won the 400-metre final at the 2018 World U20 Championships in Athletics to become the first Indian to win a gold medal at an international track event. It has been obvious that 400-metre is her specialty, but being a young athlete, there is room for much improvement.
To everyone’s surprise, Hima recently shifted her attention to the 200-metre ahead of the Tokyo Olympic qualifiers. Volker Herrmann from the Athletics Federation of India revealed that the decision was taken mainly to ease some pressure off the sprinter. Hima’s last season was tough as she had to overcome severe back injuries. ‘It does not make sense to focus on the 400 meters this season because she does not have the basic conditioning level she needs,’ stated Volker Herrmann.
As she specializes in 400 meters, her current 200-metre records are not as great. Her best was 23.10 seconds, clocked in 2018, which does not match the qualification time for the Olympics in this category, which is set at 22.80 seconds. However, her trainers are confident that she will be able to better her time with the right training and guidance. They also feel that focussing more on the 200-metre will help the runner improve her speed and endurance, which will eventually help her 400-meter performance.