Those who know Hima Das well are also aware that the last lap of 100 metres has always been her strength. On Thursday in Tempere, Finland, proving true to her expectations, Das scripted her name in the history books by clinching the top notch in the women’s 400 meters finals at the IAAF World U-20 Athletics Championships.
Trailing in the first 300m, her American counterpart Taylor Mayson had a much better start but the last 100m saw Das accelerating her speed, and surging past Mayson with ease. In what could be one of the biggest feats in Indian athletics, the 18-year-old Das won gold, clocking 51.46 seconds on the third day of the competition and becoming the first Indian woman ever to do so.
Not her personal best, Das had earlier came out with better figures, clocking 51.13 seconds last month at the National Inter State Championships in Guwahati.
In the process, she became the first Indian athlete—men or women—to accomplish such a feat at a track event at world level.