The 21st Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast has been disappointing for Indian athletes in track events so far. However, 18-year-old Hima Das proved to be a ray of hope on Tuesday (April 10) when she qualified for the final of the women’s 400m event. Clocking a personal best of 51.53 seconds, she became the first Indian woman to qualify for an athletics track CWG final.

Das registered a time of 52.11 seconds to finish third in Heat 5 to enter the semi-finals of the women’s 400 metre event.

“I do not worry about the pressure of big tournaments, or timings, or what someone else is doing in another lane. I just love to run,” Hima said from the Commonwealth Games Village, The Bridge reported.

Another Indian in the fray, Poovamma Raju, crashed out after finishing fifth in Heat 1.

Hima’s final spot deserves much applause since the young athlete began training just two years ago. Hima says she had no idea about Commonwealth Games before stepping foot at a training academy

The teenager from Assam has given India all the reasons to celebrate the day after becoming the first Indian woman to enter a track final.

The sprinter turned quarter-miler clocked her personal best time in pelting rain at the Carrara Stadium. She bettered the 51.97 seconds of her debut run in the event at the Federation Cup in Patiala last month.

Hima gave a stunning performance earlier also. She finished third in a semi-final heat, behind Jamaican Anastasia Le-Roy (51.08 for a season’s best) and Botswama’s Amantle Montsho (51.26).

All eyes on Wednesday’s final

Since Milkha Singh remains the only Indian individual gold medallist on track in Commonwealth Games, Das’ 400m final tomorrow (April 11) will surely be an eye-catching one.

Das hails from a small village at Dhing in Nagaon of Assam. She is the youngest child in the family and her father is a small rice farmer. She came into the limelight when she made it to the final of the 100m race in the Junior National Championships in Coimbatore.

How she got into the big league

“In the summer of 2016, a teacher came up to me during sports day and told me he had never seen somebody run as fast as me and that I should consider competing outside school. I thought I could finally use my speed. I used to be a big fan of Ronaldo and Messi earlier, but I knew the Indian team was not up there.”

Later at the school nationals, she bagged a bronze in the 100m and silver in the 200m and qualified for the Youth (U-18) Nationals in Hyderabad. There was no looking back after that.

Kudos to you, Hima!

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