Speed Star of Assam Hima Das is doubtful about her participation in the IAAF World Relays, which is slated to be held in Yokohama this weekend, after being diagnosed with spondylitis of the lumbar vertebrae, according to a report by The Indian Express.
The star sprinter has recently clinched gold in the women’s 400m race in the Federation Cup in March. Despite the achievement, she narrowly failed to qualify for the Asian Championships on the final day of the competition but was motivated to run for World Relays.
The 400m World Under-20 champion was religiously prepping for her upcoming competition, and now will need to rehabilitate and take medication in order to recover from her lower back injury.
If Das is out of the competition she’d miss the chance to chase qualification for the World Championships and Tokyo Olympics to be held next year.
If Das is out of the competition she’d miss the chance to chase qualification for the World Championships and Tokyo Olympics to be held next year. The 20-year-old was disqualified in the previous competition she took part in – the Asian Athletics Championships in Doha – due to a similar injury.
“Hima Das has started training with the relay squad earlier this week,” the report quoted India’s deputy chief national coach Radhakrishnan as saying. “She will need to do some exercises and will also need some rest and rehabilitation as part of her recovery. Her progress is being monitored carefully.”
Earlier, talking about the injury, Hima said, “My back problem is still there. It happened while training outside the country and I thought it will be all right in India. But it is still off and on.”
Das is travelling to Spala, Poland, to continue her rehabilitation.
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Previously, Hima stood fourth in her first race of the year on March 8 at the 3rd Indian Grand Prix. This year, she made it to the ‘Forbes India 30 Under 30’ list. She has also been appointed as the country’s first youth ambassador to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) India, recently.
Hima hails from a small village in Dhing, Nagaon, Assam. Last year, she clinched a silver medal in the women’s 400m final of the Asian Games, clocking 50.79 seconds. Again the same year, Hima along with her teammates — Mohd Anas, Poovamma and Arokia Rajiv — bagged a silver in the 400m mixed relay. This was the first time the event debuted at the Asiad. The Indian team clocked three minutes and 15.71 seconds to finish behind Bahrain (3:11.89).
In July last year, Hima proved her mettle by becoming the first Indian woman to win gold at the IAAF World Under-20 Athletics Championships, in Tampere, Finland. During the track events, the sprinter earned India’s first-ever gold, clocking 51.46 seconds in the 400-metre women’s final.
Hima had also won gold in 4x400m women’s relay at the last Asian Games and was among the 20 recipients of the prestigious Arjuna award this year
Before Federation Cup, she was on a one-month break from training since she was focusing on her Class 12th examinations.
Hima also showed a brilliant performance at the 21st Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast in April this year when she qualified for the final of the women’s 400m event, registering a personal best of 51.53 seconds timing. Thus she became the first Indian woman to qualify for an athletic track CWG final. Unfortunately, she finished sixth in the final.
Feature Image Credit: IAAF / Twitter