India’s teenage quarter-miler Hima Das got off to a flying start in the IAAF Under-20 World Championships in Tranmere, Finland as she finished with the best timing among all athletes in the heats and qualified for the semi-finals.
Das finished first in Heat 4 of the Women’s 400 metres. The 18-year-old looked at ease as she clocked 52.25 seconds, with a comfortable lead over Stacey-Ann Williams of Jamaica in the second place.
It is rare that an Indian sprinter lines up in a global championship as the one to beat, with the the 18-year-old Das being the U-20 season leader in this quarter-mile event. If the Assam girl happens to win the gold on Thursday, she will become the first Indian athlete to do so in a track event in an U-20 World Championships.
Here’s Hima Das’ racing to a first-place finish in her heat to seal her progress to the semi-finals.
Jisna Mathew, running in heat No 5, also made it through to the semi-finals. She finished first with a timing of 54.25 seconds, which was enough for her to seal the top spot in her group. Jisna’s season best is 53.26 seconds.
At the end of the heats, Hima had the fastest time while Jisna stood 16th overall.
The semifinals start at 8.55 pm IST on 11th July, Wednesday.