India’s long wait for a track gold at an IAAF World Championships is over.
Hima Das, who virtually went into the final as the top seed, lived up to that billing, taking the women’s 400m gold at the World under-20 athletics championships here on Thursday.
The 18-year-old from Assam, the fastest in the two earlier rounds here, once again produced a strong finish to bring home the historic gold in 51.46 s.
Romania’s Andrea Milkos took the silver in 52.07s while American Taylor Manson, who was expected to push Hima hard, was third in 52.28.
The Indian was slightly behind the leader around the 300m mark but as the others appeared to fade away, Hima — whose personal best stands at 51.13 — proved that she had enough gas in the tank to take the medal that mattered.
As Adille Sumariwalla, president, Athletics Federation of India, presented her with the medal, there were tears of joy in Hima’s eyes.
Junior national record holder M. Sreeshankar finished sixth in long jump on Wednesday with 7.75, which came in his second attempt.
Japan’s Yuki Hashioka won the gold with 8.03. Cuban Maikal Y. Vidal, the world leader, took the silver with 7.94. Indonesia’s Lalu Muhammed Zohri won the men’s 100m for his country’s first-ever gold at the u-20 Worlds.
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