There was a time Indian sprinter Hima Das had to scribble down Adidas on her cheap athletics shoes. But now, the global sportswear brand is her sponsor and she wears shoes with her name printed on them, recalled the track sensation on Sunday.
During an Instagram chat with former Indian cricketer Suresh Raina, the top quarter-miler who is currently at the NIS-Patiala, said her farmer father bought a normal running shoes with spikes for first competitive race.
“When I started running, I ran barefoot. But in my first Nationals, my father brought running shoes with spikes on them. It was just a normal pair of running shoes. I wrote ‘Adidas’ on the shoes with my hand. You never know what fate can do, Adidas is now making shoes with my name,” the 20-year-old said.
After Hima won the 400m gold in the 2018 World U-20 Championships in Finland, the top German brand roped her in as their brand ambassador and later made custom shoes for her that has her name on one side and ‘create history’ on the other.
She added, “People started following athletics more than ever after the 2018 Asian Games”.
Hima starred in Indonesia where she won a silver in individual 400m and a gold each in women’s 400m and mixed 400m relay races.
“People know the athletes and fans chant your name, it gives you extra motivation,” the Assamese athlete, known as Dhing Express, said.
She is keeping herself fit so that she can immediately hit the tracks once the ongoing nation-wide lockdown, enforced to combat Covid-19 pandemic, is lifted.
“I am enjoying and taking things positively during this lockdown. We are not allowed to go to the ground. I work out in my room. I practice yoga so that my blood circulation is good. I am taking care of my diet, I am eating less, no meat at all and eating a lot of fruits,” she said.
“I have come out of my injury and I am fit. I am just thinking that I have to keep myself fit so that I can just start off once the lockdown is over and start preparing for Olympics.”
She said since the Olympics have been postponed to next year, she will get more time to prepare for the Tokyo Games.
Hima also said Sachin Tendulkar is her role model and meeting the cricket icon was the best moment of her life.
“I still remember talking to him. When I saw him, I ended up crying. It was the best moment for me. Meeting your role model is a big moment for everyone and I can not forget that,” she said.
(With PTI inputs)