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Tokyo 2020

Will Hima Das qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics?

With just 50 days to go for the quadrennial Games, Indian sports fans have one major question, "Will Hima Das qualify for the Tokyo Olympics?"

Hima Das (Source: IAF/Twitter)
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Hima Das (Source: IAF/Twitter)

By

Abhijit Nair

Updated: 2 Jun 2021 3:48 PM GMT


The 2020 Tokyo Olympics is just 50 days away. Even though the fate of the Games continues to hang by a thread, athletes from around the world are giving it their all to qualify for the quadrennial event. Amongst the many athletes who are yet to book their slot at Tokyo is India's star sprinter Hima Das.
Hailing from the north-eastern state of Assam, Hima Das shot to fame with her gold medal-winning 400m run at the World U-20 Championships held at Tampere, Finland, in the year 2018. Since that run, Das has grown from strength to strength and has clinched multiple international medals.
All these achievements have led to Das being named the future of Indian athletics by sports fans in the country. But, even as the Tokyo Olympics near the 21-year-old is yet to qualify for it.
With just 50 days to go for the quadrennial Games, Indian sports fans have one major question, "Will Hima Das qualify for the Tokyo Olympics?" Here, in this article, we try to break it down to you.
First and foremost, Hima Das started off as a 400m runner before shifting to the shorter 200m sprints in January last year. Though this decision was majorly taken to her struggles with a back injury, this decision drastically reduced her chances to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in individual events.
In the current 'Road to Olympic Games 2020' rankings, Das is nowhere close to the qualifying spots, neither in 200m nor 400m women's individual sprints. The best bet for India in women's individual sprint will certainly be Dutee Chand who is ranked 41 in the rankings in both 100m and 200m and will most likely book her slot at the Tokyo Olympics through the World Ranking quota. While India's sole hope in women's 400m, Vismaya Koroth is ranked as low as 70, and the chances of her making it looks very bleak.
If Hima Das is not even in contention in the Road to Olympic Games 2020 rankings, how will she qualify?
Well, the relay events are still a hope for the Dhing Express.
So far, the only Indian team to qualify for the relay at the Tokyo Olympics is the Mixed 4x400m team comprising of Muhammed Anas, VK Vismaya, Nirmal Noah, and Jisna Mathew. The quartet qualified after their seventh-place finish at the World Athletics Championships held at Doha in 2019,
On the other hand, both, Men's and Women's 4x400m teams are currently well placed, being ranked 14th and 15th, respectively. Both of these teams can qualify if there are not many changes in the rankings until the qualification period ends on 29th June 2021.
Since Hima Das does not runs 400m currently, her chances of making it through to the Olympics in 4x400m Mixed and Women's relay teams are very bleak.
Considering all these factors, the only event where we might see Hima Das compete at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is the Women's 4x100m relay. But, much like men's 4x400m, even this is dicey at this point in time.
The Indian women's 4x100m relay team is currently ranked 22nd in the Road to Olympic Games 2020 rankings. They desperately need to compete in some competitions to improve their timings and rankings if they are to qualify.
Though Hima Das was fairly confident of the Women's 4x100m team qualifying a couple of months ago in April, it does not really feel that easy now, with the team having to skip the World Relays in May due to covid-19 imposed travel restrictions over the country.
There are murmurs about India hosting a small international event inviting athletes from countries like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and others to help the Indian team in their bid to improve their timings; nothing has been confirmed as of now.
And with the qualification period ending in less than 30 days, the chances of Hima Das qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics are miniscule.


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