The eighteenth edition of the Asian Games has been nothing short of thrilling.
Midway through the competition, India is at the ninth position in the medal tally, with a total of Thirty-One medals. Some familiar names, such as Shooting and Wrestling, have contributed to the tally. However, much of the medals have been won by sports which usually go under the radar, such as Wushu, Sepaktakraw, and Rowing.
Another such sporting competition which has usually catered to low expectations is Athletics. India has had champions in this field, yes. However, over the years, such laureates have been too few and such triumphs too sporadic.
Nevertheless, for the first time in years, India has an Athletics contingent that has the potential of winning more than one Gold medal.
One youngster, with whom are attached particularly high hopes is Hima Das. 19-year-old Das won the Women’s 400m at the World Junior Championships earlier this year and went into the competition with great expectations. The youngster showed why she is one of India’s best prospects going forwards, by winning the Silver medal.
Das had earlier cleared her heats with ease. She finished second in her heat, missing out on the Games Record by just 14 seconds. Another Indian who did particularly well in the heats was Nirmla. The 23-year-old missed the Commonwealth Games due to Typhoid and only returned to training in May.
Nevertheless, Nirmla won her heat and took her spot in the final, alongside Hima Das.
Das justified the hype surrounding her as she completed a stunning run from lane three in the Final in just 50.79 seconds. Unfortunately for the Indian, she was slightly behind the second best Women’s 400m this year- Bahrain’s Salwa Naser.
However, it was another excellent outing for the Indian, who added to her Junior Championship Gold, an Asiad Silver. She also broke the National Record in the process.
The other Indian in the event- Nirmla- also ran brilliantly. She was in the third position going into the final stretch. Nevertheless, she was caught by Kazakhstan’s Elina Mikhina, who beat her by 0.33 seconds.
Nevertheless, India continued their brilliant start to the Athletics competition by adding another Silver through Hima Das.