Hima Das's family recalls thrilling moments as she won historic gold at World U20 Athletics meet
#Monjai: Hima Das's family recalls thrilling moments as she won historic gold at the World U20 Athletics meet
At Dhing village in central Assam's Nagaon district, some 150 km from here, farmer Ranjit Das and his wife Jonali are the centre of huge attraction. There's a surge of media persons at this remote village because the couple's daughter, Hima, made history on Thursday night when she became the first Indian woman to win a gold medal at an international track event.
Teenager Hima Das, 18, clocked 51.46 seconds to run away, quite literally, with the top prize in the 400m final at the IAAF World U-20 Athletics Championships in Tampere, Finland. It may have been all joyous yesterday, but on Thursday night, dad Ranjit and mom Jonali were a bundle of nerves as their daughter took to the starting line around 10:40pm India time.
Hima's parents Jonali and Ranjit
"I was so nervous last night that I couldn't speak to anyone. I was restless and began praying," Jonali told mid-day. And it took less than a minute — 51.46 seconds to be precise — for God to answer her prayers as her daughter stormed her way into the annals of Indian sports history. "We simply kept staring at our TV set for many minutes after the race because we just couldn't believe what had just happened.
Then, we began to have dinner and just as we finished our food, the phone rang. It was Hima! She thought we might have been sleeping as it was well beyond 11 pm but when she learnt that we were up watching her race, she just burst into tears. On one end of the phone, she was crying and at this end, we were in tears," remarked Jonali, who now wishes her girl gets all the rewards she deserves. "Hima has made our whole country proud and I hope she can now inspire others to achieve success by overcoming any troubles in life," added Jonali.
India's Hima Das on her way to winning gold in the 400m final at the IAAF U-20 World C'ships in Tampere, Finland on Thursday. Pic/Getty Images
Ranjit, a farmer here, was happy to see his daughter on TV yesterday proudly flaunting the traditional Assamese 'gamosa', a local hand-woven towel, a symbol of the state's cultural heritage. "I'm glad because now the whole world will know not only about Hima but also about out little town of Dhing and most importantly our beautiful state of Assam," added the proud father.
For Hima's younger sister, Rinti, a Class X student, her didi [sister] is now her biggest sporting hero. "I also want to make my country proud by becoming a top sportsperson like Hima," says Rinti. Hima has two more siblings — twins Barasha and Basanta, who are the youngest in the family. Just like Hima says, "Mon jai", which means "I wish" in Assamese, her mother also cheered for her girl in a loud voice, yelling, "Mon jai [I wish] she creates history at the 2020 Olympics now."
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