Speed Star of Assam Hima Das was part of the Indian 4x400m mixed relay team that had won a silver medal at the Asian Games in Jakarta in 2018. Now the medal has been upgraded to gold after one of the Bahrain athletes, the original winner, was found guilty of dope offence on Thursday. The Indian team of Mohammed Anas, M.R. Poovamma, ace sprinter Hima Das and Arokia Rajiv had finished second behind Bahrain. Now, their banned runner is disqualified, hence Hima and squad were recently upgraded to the top position and bestowed with the gold medal as a reward.
Hima had already secured gold in Women's 4x400m relay race at the 2018's Asian Games in Jakarta. She will now get her second gold medal.
Bahrain had topped the 4×400 mixed relay final, however, unfortunately, was disqualified after runner Kemi Adekoya was handed a four-year ban by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for failing a dope test.
Really happy that our Silver medal of 4x400 mixed relay team at the Asian Games 2018 is upgraded to Gold now. I congratulate my teammates @muhammedanasyah @PoovammaMR & Arokia Rajiv for this milestone. Thank you @afiindia @Media_SAI @IndiaSports Galina mam and support staff. pic.twitter.com/iSZL6cx9er— Hima (mon jai) (@HimaDas8) July 23, 2020
Announcing the good news, an elated Hima took to Twitter and wrote: "Really happy that our Silver medal of 4x400 mixed relay team at the Asian Games 2018 is upgraded to Gold now." She also congratulated her teammates for the achievement.
What You Should Know
- The Indian 4x400m mixed relay team of Mohammed Anas, MR Poovamma, Hima Das and Arokia Rajiv won silver in the 2018 Asian Games, Jakarta. Their medal has been upgraded to gold.
- The Indian team had finished second behind Bahrain which initially bagged gold in the 4×400m mixed relay final.
- Bahrain athlete Kemi Adekoya has been handed a four-year ban by the Athletics Integrity Unit.
Another Indian athlete, Anu Raghavan also got moved up from fourth place to a bronze medal position in the women’s 400m hurdles. Kemi Adekoya had finished first with a timing of 54.48 seconds. Raghavan finished fourth with a timing of 56.92 seconds.
During Jakarta games, one Bahraini sprinter had allegedly impeded Hima’s way during the race and therefore the Indian athletes had originally lodged an appeal against them for ‘obstruction’ after the mixed relay race. However, that appeal was rejected and India had flown home with a silver. “The news comes as a fillip to us as we are aiming to build on the Asian Games showing and make a mark at the global level in the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year,” Athletics Federation of India President Adille Sumariwalla reflected.
The Indian quartet of Mohammed Anas, MR Poovamma, Hima Das and Arokia Rajiv clocked three minutes and 15.71 seconds to finish behind Bahrain (3:11.89).
Hima's past records
Last year, Hima 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.
Hima hails from a small village in Dhing, Nagaon, Assam. In 2018, 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 bagged a silver in the 400m mixed relay. This was the first time the event debuted at the Asiad.
Here's the list of Hima Das’ records in July 2019:
Hima proved her mettle again by becoming the first Indian woman to win gold at the IAAF World Under-20 Athletics Championships, in Tampere, Finland in 2018. 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 last year.
You’re incredible Hima. Keep sprinting!
Feature Image Credit: AFI/Twitter