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World Jr Athletics Championships: PM Modi, Rahul Gandhi heap praises for Hima Das

Sprinter Hima Das scripted history by clinching the gold medal in the women’s 400m final race in the IAAF World Under-20 Athletics Championships.

SNS | New Delhi |

Sprinter Hima Das on Thursday scripted history by becoming the first Indian woman athlete to win gold at the world level as she clinched the top spot in the women’s 400m final race in the IAAF World Under-20 Athletics Championships in Finland’s Tampere.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter and congratulated the young athlete on her achievement.

“India is delighted and proud of athlete Hima Das, who won a historic Gold in the 400m of World U20 Championships. Congratulations to her! This accomplishment will certainly inspire young athletes in the coming years,” he tweeted.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi was also all praises for Hima Das as he posted a photograph of the athlete on Twitter and wrote, “In the video below, you will see what makes Hima Das, Gold medalist at the world under-20 Athletics Championship, in Finland, so special! This is India’s first ever Gold in a track event at a world championship.

I salute her achievement & congratulate her on her historic win.”

The 18-year-old, a pre-tournament favourite, clocked 51.46s to win the gold, which triggered a wild celebrations at the Indian camp. This was, however, not her personal best as she had clocked 51.13 last month at the National Inter State Championships in Guwahati.

No woman before Das has won a gold medal in a world championship at any level, be it youth, junior or senior.

She is also the first Indian — men or women — to have won a gold in a track event at the world level.

Running in lane number 4, Das was behind Romania’s Andrea Miklos at the final bend but produced a stunning burst during the final stretch to cross the finishing line well ahead of the field. She produced her trademark burst at the final 50m.

Also Read | Twitterati laud Hima Das for creating history for Indian athletics

Miklos took the silver in 52.07 while Taylor Manson of USA was third in 52.28.

“I am very happy to win the gold in the World Junior championships. I want to thank all the Indians back home and also those, who were here cheering me. It was very encouraging to have this kind of support,” Das said after the race.

Das, from Dhing village in Assam’s Nagaon distrist, now joins the illustrious company of star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, who won a gold in Poland in the last edition in 2016 in a world record effort.

In fact, Das is the first Indian track athlete to have won a medal in the history of this competition.

The other medal winners are — Seema Punia (bronze in discus in 2002) and Navjeet Kaur Dhillon (bronze in discus in 2014).

(With agency inputs)