Hima Das: Champion athlete and toast of the town

When Hima Das dashed past three competitors in the final 50 m of the 400 m track to finish the race in 51.46 seconds, she created history. Hima Das bagged gold at the women's 400m final at the IAAF World Under-20 Athletics Championships in Finland becoming the first Indian to win a gold at a track event at the world level.
Das, who was a pre-tournament favourite, overtook Andrea Miklos of Romania and Taylor Manson of the United States to win the race. Running at track 4, Das produced a stunning burst - her signature style - in the final 50 m to win the top spot.
With this spectacular win, Hima Das now joins the illustrious ranks of Neeraj Chopra, who won a gold at javelin at the World U20 championships' last edition, as well as Seema Punia and Navjeet Kaur Dhillon, both bronze-medallists at discus in 2002 and 2014 respectively.
However, the 51.46 seconds record that won Hima Das the gold medal isn't even her personal best.  She had clocked 51.13 seconds last month in Guwahati at the National Inter State Championships.
The daughter of a rice farmer from Nagaon district in Assam, Hima Das used to play football with boys near the paddy fields. She was soon spotted by her coach, Nipon Das who claims he had not seen such talent in ages.
Even with substandard spikes, Hima would run like the wind. But her parents, were reluctant to send her to Guwahati for a future in athletics. Nipon Das, however, never gave up on her and she was finally sent to Guwahati.
Coach Das also had to arrange for her accommodation near the Sarusajai Sports Complex in Guwahati.
After wearing spikes for only two years, Hima Das unleashed her unparalleled potential.
With her win, from PM Modi, Piyush Goyal, PT Usha to Sachin Tendulkar, Sunil Chhetri, Amitabh Bachchan, tributes have been pouring for the athlete from every corner.

"I am very happy to win the gold in the World Junior championships. I want to thank all the Indians back home and also those, who were here cheering me. It was very encouraging to have this kind of support," said the champion.