Hima Das, who soared to instant superstardom with her Youth World Championships gold back in 2018, has been dropped from the government of India's Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS).
Hima scripted history by becoming the first Indian woman to win a gold medal at the IAAF World Under-20 Athletics Championships as she clinched the top spot in the women's 400m final race in Tampere, Finland back in 2018. She was brought under the TOPS list with an eye on the Tokyo Olympics in May 2018.
However, Hima has been out of premier international competitions for a while and will be missing the Asian Games later this year too.
Hima has competed in only two events this season. According to India’s athletics chief coach Radhakrishnan Nair, Hima is out of contention for the upcoming Asian Games due to a hamstring injury.
Earlier this year, Hima skipped the first Indian Grand Prix. She was injured at the Indian Grand Prix-4 on April 15 and has not competed since then. She missed the Inter-State Athletics Championships and then the ongoing Asian Athletics Championships.
What is TOPS?
The Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) is an initiative of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports aimed at providing support to India’s top athletes. Athletes are selected to be part of this list based on their chances to achieve podium finishes at premier international events.
According to the latest data on the SAI website, there are 98 Indian athletes in the Core group of TOPS athletes and a further 165 athletes in a Developmental group.
The selected athletes are given a monthly allowance for the purpose of training, diet, coaching and all related matters.