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Friday, July 13, 2018

Hima Das does India proud in U20 IAAF at Finland

A match is not over until the last ball is bowled and a race isn’t over until it’s over.  Yesterday at Nottingham where the last two matches had scores of 400+ - India romped home comfortably with 10 overs to spare ~ Rohit’s 137* did not fetch him the man of the match, for Kuldeep Yadav had outshone him with a six for .. ..

The women’s 100m at the IAAF World U20 Championships Tampere 2018 was effectively all over in the first few strides.  Prodigious Jamaican Briana Williams, who turned 16 just a few months ago, shot out of the blocks to steal a march on world U20 leader Twanisha Terry of the USA. Terry, who had clocked a championship record of 11.03 (0.4m/s) to win her semifinal, couldn’t make up the ground on Williams as her younger rival held on to victory in 11.16. Despite being the youngest 100m entrant of the entire championships, Williams was a model of poise and composure in the final. It was only when she crossed the line that her face lit up with emotion, her eyes and mouth wide open in pure disbelief.

Tampere  is a city in Pirkanmaa, southern Finland. It is the most populous inland city in the Nordic countries.  It's also the most populous Finnish city outside the Greater Helsinki area and a major urban, economic, and cultural hub for central Finland. Tampere is wedged between two lakes, Näsijärvi and Pyhäjärvi. Since the two lakes differ in level by 18 metres (59 ft), the rapids linking them, Tammerkoski, have been an important power source throughout history, most recently for generating electricity. Tampere is dubbed the "Manchester of Finland" for its industrial past as the former center of Finnish industry.  The capital Helsinki is approximately 160 kilometres (99 mi) south of Tampere. 

IAAF world champions is happening here and Indians have reasons to be reading this !!

IAAF World U20 Championships is a biennial world championships for the sport of athletics organised by the International Association of Athletics Federations, contested by athletes in the under-20 athletics age category (19 years old or younger on 31 December in the year of the competition.  The competition was launched at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Athletics in 1986 and . The name of the competition was changed in November 2015.  Boasting 49 Olympic track and field champions to date, Finland has a long and proud history of producing some of our sport’s greatest athletes, and an equally strong record of hosting major events, from the 1952 Olympic Games, to the inaugural world championships in 1983 and the 2005 edition, both held in Helsinki. As one of 17 founding members of the IAAF 106 years ago, Finland has always been a major contributor to the development of our sport. With such a rich history, it is entirely fitting that it hosts  the event that will introduce to the world the next generation of champions.

India's Hima Das made history by becoming the country's first track athlete to become a world champion at any level after winning the women's 400m at the U-20 World Championships in Tampere, Finland yesterday night. Hima is also only the second ever Indian athlete to claim a gold medal at the World Juniors, following javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra's victory at the 2016 edition of the championships. With a power-packed finish, India’s Hima Das sealed her nation’s first ever medal in the 400m at the IAAF World U20 Championships, sling-shotting to the lead down the home straight and coming home a clear winner in 51.46.

It made her the first Indian woman to win a global title of any kind and the first Indian, male or female, to win a global track title. Hima  had looked an overwhelming favourite for gold throughout the rounds, but on an evening of surprises it looked like another one was on the cards midway through the 400m final. She was to say  afterwards, “my biggest strength is the last 100m.” “I'm very proud to hold the Indian flag on my shoulders,” said Das. “I'd like to thank India and my team leader and my coach.” Running in lane four at the Ratina Stadium, the 18-year-old who had begun learning the basics of sprinting just a couple of years ago, stormed to victory in 51.46 seconds, beating Romania's Andrea Miklos, who was a distant second at 52.07 seconds and USA's Taylor Manson, who clocked 52.28 seconds.

Australia’s Ella Connolly, Romania’s Andrea Miklos and USA’s Taylor Manson all appeared in better shape for victory, but Das finishes like few others in the world of one-lap running. She torched up the home straight and was drawing away at the finish, coming home well clear of Miklos, who grabbed silver with a PB of 52.07. Manson claimed bronze for USA with a strong run of 52.28, while Connolly was run out of the medals in fourth with 52.82.

She had earlier increased confidence of all Indians by beating her rivals in the heats and had qualified for the finals as the fastest athlete in the semi-finals on Wednesday. Despite her wins, her times in those two races were far short of her personal bests, something that worried Nipon Das, who had initiated her career in athletics.

Hailing from the rice fields of Dhing village in Assam’s Nagaon distrist,  the 18-year old Hima has come up so high .. ..  Well done and hearty congratulations Hima Das

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
13th July 2018.

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