Asian Games 2018: Hima Das eyes medal in three more events

Updated: Aug 27, 2018, 14:55 IST | Ashwin Ferro

After clinching 400m silver medal, India's superstar Hima Das wants metallic rewards in three more Asian Games events - 200m, 4x400m and mixed relay

Asian Games 2018: Hima Das eyes medal in three more events
Hima Das celebrates after winning silver in the 400m final in Jakarta yesterday. Pic/PTI

Moments after India's teenage super star Hima Das, 18, sprinted across the finish, to bag a silver medal clocking 50.79s just behind Asia's No 1 quarter-miler Naser Salwa (50.09s) of Bahrain in the 400m final here last night, she ran up to a middle-aged man wearing a Gamosa on his head, and hugged him. He is Nippon Das, the man credited for polishing this rare diamond that glittered with gold at the IAAF U-20 World Championships in Tampere, Finland earlier this year.

Das immediately wrapped his ward with the tri-colour and adjusted his headgear with pride. The Gamosa is a traditional white Assamese cloth with a red border and is considered an integral part of the state's culture and pride. Drawing a parallel between what Hima, the daughter of a farmer in Assam's Nagaon district, means to India, and what a Gamosa means to Assam, is inevitable.

Hima Das' coach Nippon Das with a Gamosa on his head yesterday. Pic/Ashwin Ferro
Hima Das' coach Nippon Das with a Gamosa on his head yesterday. Pic/Ashwin Ferro

Proud coach
"This Gamosa is a symbol of Assam's pride just like Hima. She is from our state and we are so happy that she has made India proud by winning a silver medal in her maiden Asian Games," Nippon told mid-day here yesterday. Hima also broke her own national record of 50.86s, which she had set in the heats here a day earlier. Nippon further dwelled on what Hima was like in the run-up to the final.

Relaxed mood
"She was unbelievably cool and relaxed. She is a fun-loving girl and does not take any pressure. She knows only one thing, to go out there and run, and that's what she will do every time. I kept telling her before the race to relax a bit but she smiled and said, 'Don't worry, coach. I will win a medal in this race,' and she did," added Nippon.

Amazingly, Hima is far from being done with these Games. She wants more medals. "Hima has three more events here (200m, 4x400m and mixed relay) and she is eyeing a medal in every event. She has told me that she will not go back home with just one medal — she wants four," said Das adding that it was always going to be tough to beat veteran Salwa. "She [Salwa] is Asia's No. 1 and has been unbeaten this season.

But, having said that Hima is still very young. I'm sure with age, she can be a world-beater." Hima meanwhile, reiterated what she had said a day earlier: "I had said before the race that I don't chase medals, I chase timings and I'm very happy with this timing."

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