Tokyo 2020 turns spotlight on India's 'Dhing Express' Hima Das

Hima Das is one of India’s most popular athletes. © Ben Hoskins/Getty Images for IAAF
Hima Das is one of India’s most popular athletes. © Ben Hoskins/Getty Images for IAAF

New Delhi, India, April 27, 2021: Indian track ace Hima Das is the subject of a feature on the Tokyo 2020 official website as the countdown continues to the Olympic Games this July.

Under the headline “Five things to know about Hima Das” posted on April 26, Tokyo 2020 describes the 21-year-old 400m runner as “one of her country’s big hopes for the Tokyo 2020 Games” and lists the five facts:

*She’s the fastest 400m runner in the whole of India. Despite her age, only 21, the athlete from Dhing in the state of Assam has already made history for her country. In 2018, she became India’s fastest-ever female over 400m when she clocked 50.79 seconds en route to a silver medal at the Asian Games in Jakarta. Needless to say, the athlete nicknamed the “Dhing Express” was destined for the very top.

*Hima Das is a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) in Assam state following a ceremony in February 2021 that fulfilled a childhood ambition.

*She's already a medal-winning history-maker. In July 2018, Das won India’s first-ever gold in track events at the IAAF World U20 Championships when she stormed home in 51.46 seconds in the 400m final in Finland. Not only that, her performance made her the first Indian track athlete to win a medal of any colour at the World Junior Championships. 

*She has a formidable sprint partner in Dutee Chand. When Hima Das lines up in the 4x100m relay race at the World Athletics Relays Silesia 21 this weekend, she won’t be the only Indian athlete on the starting line with aspirations to win medals in Tokyo. Dutee Chand, 25, a Rio 2016 Olympian and only the third Indian woman to qualify for the 100m at an Olympic Games, will also be part of the four-person team hoping to triumph in the relay event.

*Football was her first love. Before Das started in athletics, she was an avid football fan and played as a striker. Her goal was to play for the national team. Football’s loss is athletics’ gain!