President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and All India Congress Committee (AICC) President Rahul Gandhi on Friday hailed Hima Das who created history by becoming the first Indian athlete to win a gold at an International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) event.
“Congratulations to our sensational sprint star Hima Das for winning the 400m gold in the World Under-20 (in Finland)… A very proud moment for Assam and India, Hima; now the Olympic podium beckons,” the President said in a tweet.
Modi tweeted: “This accomplishment will certainly inspire young athletes in the coming years.”
Tense at the start, Das began slow and trailed on the home stretch, but her blazing run in the final 80m, as she overtook three rivals, saw her clocking 51.46 seconds.
Gandhi posted a video on Twitter and marked it “so special”. “This is India’s first ever Gold in a track event at a world championship. I salute her achievement and congratulate her on her historic win,” the Congress chief said.
Daughter of a paddy farmer from Dhing village in Nagaon district, Das shone in a field dominated by runners from the US and Jamaica in Tampere’s Ratina Stadium on Thursday.
She became the first Indian athlete to win gold in a world championship across all age groups. Hima did well even in the earlier rounds — winning Heat 4 with a time of 52.25 seconds. She emerged on top in the semi-finals winning her race in 52.10 seconds.>