Hima Das sets Sachin Tendulkar as injury example

The sprint prodigy is enjoying her practice sessions but realizes that she will have to improve her fitness if she has to qualify for Tokyo Olympics next year.

By Rahul Venkat

When Hima Das was out of action for several months following a back injury suffered at the Asian Athletics Championships in April 2019, it seemed that the break would affect her chances of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics.

However, the postponement of the Games by a year allowed enough time for the Indian sprinter to recover and mount another challenge with the cut-off date for qualification now being set as June 29, 2021.

With her focus now on the 200m, it was even more important to stay in top shape as it is a different beast compared to her favoured 400m.

“I am perfectly fit and practising but then it is different from competitions. We need some of them to assess my fitness levels,” Hima Das told The New Indian Express in an interview.

“Only after a few events will I know how far I have come.”

And though she was understandably low after suffering a major injury for the first time in her career, Hima Das has now accepted them as part of her career.

“Injury is part of life for an athlete. The person I consider as god, Sachin Tendulkar, also got injured. Even an MS Dhoni or Usain Bolt have gone through it. Sometimes, recovery takes time,” she added.

‘No event is big or small’

Hima Das made her international comeback with five consecutive gold medals in Europe and though they came in lower-level competitions, the Indian sprinter approached it as any other mainline event.

“Whether it is Poland or anywhere else, the game is never small or big for me. I love to run and that’s always my priority,” the 20-year-old Hima said.

“If I can get my best timing, I feel content. That’s why I say I run after timing, not medals.”

The Indian sprinter is now preparing at the National Institute of Sports (NIS) in Patiala to be in shape for the start of the Indian athletics season in September from where she can build a base and then plan for Tokyo qualification.