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Hima Das scripts history, wins 400m gold in World Junior Athletics
July 12, 2018

18-year-old from Dhing village in Assam is first Indian woman to win gold at the World Under-20 Athletics Championships.

IMAGE: India's Hima Das celebrates after winning the women's 400m final on Day 3 of the IAAF World Under-20 Championships in Tampere, Finland. Photograph: Stephen Pond/Getty Images for IAA

Hima Das scripted history on Thursday, becoming the first Indian woman to win gold at the IAAF World Under-20 Athletics Championships.

The 18-year-old, a pre-event favourite, won the women's 400 metres final on the third day of competition in Tempere, Finland, clocking 51.46 seconds.

Andrea Miklos of Romania clocked a personal best of 52.07 seconds to finish second while Taylor Manson of the United States was third in 52.28 seconds.


She now joins the illustrious company of star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, who won gold in Poland in the last edition of the championships in 2016 with a World record effort.

IMAGE: India's Hima Das finishes well ahead of the field in Heat 1 of the women's 400m semi-finals on Day 2 of the IAAF World Under-20 Championships in Tampere, Finland. Photograph: Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images for IAAF

Das is the first Indian track athlete to win a medal in the history of this competition.

The previous medal winners at the World Junior Championships are Seema Punia (bronze in discus in 2002) and Navjeet Kaur Dhillon (bronze in discus in 2014).

Das was a favourite to win the event as she is the Under-20 season leader in the quarter-mile event. 

The athlete from Dhing village in Assam finished a creditable sixth in 400 metres at Commonwealth Games in April, timing 51.32s.

She clocked an Indian Under-20 record of 51.32 seconds to finish sixth in the Commonwealth Games 400 metres final in Gold Coast in April.

Since then, she has gone improved her timing considerably.

She lowered the Indian Under-20 record in the 400m to 51.13 seconds while winning gold in the recent National Inter-State Championships in Guwahati.

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