Sangrur, Punjab: National sprint queen and Assam’s heartthrob Hima Das bit the dust in her first race of the season, as the World Junior Champion and Asian Games silver medalist failed to secure a position among the top three in the 400 m race during the Indian Grand Prix held at Sangrur in Punjab.
Das, who holds the current Indian national record in 400 m with timing of 50.79 seconds that she clocked at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia failed miserably in the domestic circuit competition.
Because of her performance in various international platforms during the year 2018, companies like Adidas and others had also signed professional agreement with her.
The cause of concern for Das, who always believes in improvement of timing rather than targeting specific positions, and her supporters that she has failed miserably at Sangrur with a timing of 55.19 seconds, much behind her record-breaking performance in Jakarta. This is her slowest time ever in the quarter-mile since she started competing in the event at the Federation Cup 2018.
Das’ performance not only shocks her fans, but also raises an alarm bell for the Athletic Federation of India.
Interestingly, this was Das’ first race of the season. She missed the first leg of the IGP in New Delhi due to examinations and also opted out from the second leg.
VK Vismaya won the women’s 400m race at the third leg of the Indian Grand Prix athletics championships with a time of 53.8 seconds. MR Poovamma came in second with a time of 54.06s, while Prachi Choudhary was third in 54.49s.
Muhammed Anas, also a silver medalist in Jakarta, finished second in the 400m, 0.28 seconds behind Arokia Rajiv, who won with a time of 46.32 seconds for his second straight IGP win in the discipline.
Long jumper Sreeshankar M started his 2019 season with a win. The national record holder won with his second jump of 7.74 metres, as M Silambarasan came second with an attempt of 7.25 metres.
Asian Games gold medalist Manjeet Singh came in second in the 800m event with a time of 1:49.82. Mohammed Afsal won the race in 1:49.48.
Govindan Lakshmanan won the men’s 5000m race with a time of 14:04.22 minutes while L Suriya missed the Asian Athletics Championships qualification mark of 15:5 minutes by a whisker.