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Hima Das to give the Mixed Team Relay a miss at the 2018 Asian Games

Hima Das to give the Mixed Team Relay a miss at the 2018 Asian Games

Sohinee Basu

Published: 28 July 2018 8:06 AM GMT
After a whirlwind win at the IAAF U20 Championships earlier this month, Hima Das has scripted history. Ahead of the 2018 Asian Games which are set to begin from the following month, the Assam-born girl has announced that she will be giving the newly introduced mixed-team 4x400m relay a miss. Hima's stellar win in Tampere, Finland where she put in her everything to ace three quality races and put her name on the gold when she covered the quarter mile in just 51.46 secs is nothing short of a historical and proud event for India. "There are no injury worries, but she has been given a break so that she can recover. With barely a month left for the Asian Games, we have also decided that Hima will avoid local competitions,”
said Hima's coach Basant Singh to Hindustan Times. After the exhausting but sweet victory for Hima, the decision taken by her coach looks wise. The other reason powering this decision behind Hima opting out of the mixed-team relay is legitimate. “There is a clash of event timings, and so Hima’s name had to be withdrawn from the mixed-team relay,” said national coach Basant Singh. “The gap between the 200m heats and the mixed-team relay is short. Hence it will be difficult for one athlete to take part in both.” Going by the pages of history, India is defending champions in women’s 4x400m relay, and the national coach believes Hima's presence in the team will make a marked difference this year.
“She will be anchoring the women’s relay,”
he admitted. The preparations for the Jakarta Asian Games are on full-fledged, and the national 400m runners including members of the relay teams (men and women’s) are currently training in Jablonec in the Czech Republic and will head to Indonesia from Europe right away. The group also includes the 400m hurdlers. Hima is saving her energy and resources so that she can unleash herself to give her very best in Indonesia later next month. Coach Basant Singh also believes Hima would further improve her timing in Indonesia. “She might break the 51-second barrier in 400m, and there are chances she might break the 23-secs barrier in the 200m,” he said. Hima’s personal best in 200m is 23.10 secs. Hima also has a personal best of 51.13 secs in the 400m sprint which she clocked in this month at Guwahati. Hima is like a shining meteorite, all ablaze and she is gearing up to give her the best and look at the larger picture. The teenager from Assam is all ready to topple records with Manjeet Kaur's 400m national record of 51.05 secs set in 2004 in Chennai is in her foresight. Manjeet is also the only Indian athlete to have clocked sub-50 secs at a relay leg during the semi-finals of the 2004 Athens Olympics. We have only to wait a few more weeks to see if Hima succeeds in creating more history!
Also read: Hearing national anthem on this stage a new kind of happiness: Hima Das
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