It was just a few months ago that Harmilan Bains missed out on qualifying for the Olympics. There were high expectations from her given that she was performing well in the run up to the qualifiers and timings. Fast forward to September and the 23-year-old has broken the 1500m national record in the ongoing National Open Athletics Championships.
But who really is this athletic prodigy from Punjab?
What is her background?
Harmilan Bains was born on 23rd July 1998 in Hoshiarpur, Punjab. Both her parents were ace athletes with her father being a multiple time national champion and a South Asian Games medal winner. Her mother missed out on qualifying for the Olympics with a timing that was short of the qualifying mark by a few microseconds. She is a graduate of Punjab University and currently trains at the NIS in Patiala.
When did she begin running?
Like many athletes, she began running at a very young age after her parents put her into it. Despite her parent's experience and eagerness with the concept of running, Harmilan was initially not interested in it. It was a second placed finish at a local race in her hometown that initially demotivated her. But her mother coaxed her to try it one more time and beat the previous competitor who defeated her. With a first placed finish in the next race, Harmilan opened up to the idea of pursuing running professionally and never looked back after that.
What are her significant achievements?
She has won bronze at the Asian Junior Atheltics Championships in 2016. Her national record is enviable with a recent record breaking run in the 1500m event along with 2 gold medals at the Khelo Indian University Games. She qualified for the 1500m event at the Poland World Championships in 2016.
What to expect from her?
Her recent record-breaking Nationals timing was just short of the World Championship qualifying mark which is 4:04:20. However, her running and improved timings is a testament to how her performances have improved over the past few years. She is only 23 and still has several years to go in her bright career. With Paris 2024 just three years away, Harmilan Bians will be looking to reach her ultimate goal by qualifying for the Olympics.