Not decided on event, Hima Das eyes Olympic qualification

Since the back injury that saw her pull up at the Asian Championships in 2019, Hima Das has struggled to run in her favourite event of 400m.

Hima Das has begun running on track at the National Institute of Sports, Patiala.   -  Special Arrangement

With most athletes uncertain in a changed sporting world, Indians are no exception. Having resumed training at the National Institute of Sports, Patiala, Hima Das has decided to keep expectations aside for the time being and concentrate only on getting back to action.

“I have begun running on track for the last 45 days. I am not sure of the situation outside because we are not allowed to go but inside the NIS, the Sports Authority of India has made all arrangements. They also talk to us regularly to know if there are any issues. In fact, there are no problems here in terms of following rules or training except the heat. To beat that, we train in the morning only while cycling or resting in the evening,” the 20-year-old told Sportstar.

Hima Das' injury mystery likely to continue for long  

The national record holder in 400m is yet to qualify for Tokyo and an injury-marred 2019 did not help her chances. Since the back injury that saw her pull up at the Asian Championships in 2019, Hima has struggled to run her favourite distance. She ran a series of 200m in Europe but could not go under 23s while the qualifying time for Tokyo is 22.80. Her personal best of 50.79 seconds in the 400m is better than the qualifying mark of 51.35, however, she has not been able to go under 52s in 2019.

And there is no surety on how far she will run when competition does begin. Hima has left the decision to AFI and coach Galina Bukharina, refusing to even comment on whether she feels physically ready. “I have not run 400 for a long time but I am mentally fit. I only want to qualify for the Olympics. Which event, how, when are all questions I have to the coach and AFI,” she insisted.

The World Junior champion is also thankful for the support from her sponsor Adidas during this time. “They have been a big help in staying mentally fit and focussed. The film What’s One More, part of Adidas’s Ready for Sport campaign, is an attempt to keep athletes ready till the Olympics next year, explores how the cancellations have affected their physical and mental wellness and reinforces the importance of being positive and resilient,” she signed off.

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