Quartermile stone: on Hima Das’ gold medal

 Quartermile stone: on Hima Das’ gold medal

 

With a world-level gold, Hima Das takes Indian track and field to a higher zone

Received opinion(राय/सम्मति) has it that it takes years to master the quarter mile(तिमाही मील) and that progress at the highest level is painfully(दर्दनाक/कष्‍ट पहुँचाते हुए) slow. Incredibly(अविश्वसनीय रूप से,), Hima Das has proved this wrong. For someone who took to the 400 m just this year and who ran her first individual(व्यक्तिगत/विशिष्ट) race as recently as in March, the 18-year-old from Assam has produced(प्रस्तुत/उत्पादित) one stunning(शानदार/तेजस्वी) performance after another. So much so that her World Under-20 championships gold at Tampere in Finland on Thursday night did not exactly(पूरी तरह से/ठीक-ठीक) come as a surprise. It is a remarkable(उल्लेखनीय /असाधारण) tale(कहानी ) because Indians have never done well in sprints( पूरे वेग से दौड़ना/दौड़) on the global stage, even if athletes such as P.T. Usha dominated(श्रेष्ठ होना/प्रभुत्व रखना) the 400 m at the Asian level. In fact, Hima’s under-20 title was the country’s first-ever gold in a track event at any IAAF World event. Over the last few years, athletes such as discus thrower Vikas Gowda and javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra — also a World junior champion and junior world record holder — have kept(रखा) India close to the global level in the throws. But it is in Hima’s strong(मज़बूत/ज़ोरदार) run that the country has had a breakthrough(सफलता) in a track event. A farmer’s daughter from Assam’s Nagaon district, Das was a 100 m and 200 m sprinter earlier(पहले धावक). Seen in that light, her performance graph in the 400 m this year is breathtaking(साँस चढनेवाला/लुभावनी). From 53.21 seconds (in her debut race in March), she has brought down her personal best to 51.13 s in just four months. “With that sort of progress, I will not be surprised if she breaks the national record — Manjit Kaur’s 51.05 s — and runs something like 50.65 s in next month’s Asian Games at Jakarta and even(यहाँ तक की/समान रूप से) goes below 50 s in a couple of years,” said Usha, who came close to an Olympic bronze in the 400 m hurdles during the 1984 event.

Still(फिर भी/शांत रूप में)), there is a feeling(भावना) that all this is too good to be true, as it usually takes years of training to produce the kind of timing that Das is clocking(घड़ी ) now. While other runners appear(दिखाई/आभास होना) fatigued(मांदा/श्रांत) with about 50 m left for the finish, she seems to find an extra gear and frequently powers past her wilting(झुकाव/कारण कमजोर पड़ गया) competitors(प्रतियोगियों ). Her stunning progress has forced many to adopt(अपनाना/दत्तक लेना) a wait-and-watch strategy(रणनीति) before assessing(आकलन/आंकना) her fully. Is she a wonder girl? Only time will tell, but India needs to grab this golden opportunity(अवसर/सुविधा) to take the sport forward. The Japanese, backed by a strong junior programme, are reaping(काटने का समय) rich rewards( समृद्ध पुरस्कार) at Tampere, and an Indonesian has emerged(उभरा/प्रकट होना) as the fastest man at the junior Worlds. But in Indian athletics, improvement is a big struggle(संघर्ष) and our athletes’ choice of locations for foreign training trips(यात्राएं ) have often(अक्सर ) raised questions(प्रश्न उठाती हैं). It is to be hoped that Das’s achievement(उपलब्धि) will stand the test of time and serve(सेवा करना as a beacon of hop(आशा की किरण)

 

 

 

Important Vocabulary

 

1.Opinion(राय/सम्मति)
Synonyms: assessment, assumption, attitude, conclusion, feeling
Antonyms: concrete, fact, physicality, reality, thing

2.Incredibly(अविश्वसनीय रूप से,),
Synonyms: nespecially, fabulously, strangely, uncommonly, astonishingly
Antonyms: commonly, normally, unexceptionally, usually

3.Stunning(शानदार/तेजस्वी)
Synonyms: brilliant, dazzling, devastating, gorgeous, great
Antonyms: bad, homely, insignificant, normal, ordinary

4.Dominated(श्रेष्ठ होना/प्रभुत्व रखना)
Synonyms: command, control, dictate, influence, lead
Antonyms: follow, lose, obey, mismanage, neglect

5.Reaping(काटने का समय)
Synonyms: bring in, derive, gain, garner, obtain
Antonyms: forfeit, lose, miss, fail, grow

6.Sprints( पूरे वेग से दौड़ना/दौड़)
Synonyms: dart, dash, rush, scamper, scoot
Antonyms: walk

7.Even(यहाँ तक की/समान रूप से)
Synonyms: alike, balanced, constant, direct, equal
Antonyms: broken, changing, corrupt, different, dishonest

8.Still(फिर भी/शांत रूप में))
Synonyms: closed, fixed, halcyon, hushed, pacific
Antonyms: broken, changeable, unfixed, variable, agitated

9.Appear(दिखाई/आभास होना)
Synonyms: arrive, come, come out, crop up, develop
Antonyms: abandon, conceal, depart, disappear, go

10.Reaping(काटने का समय)
Synonyms: bring in, derive, gain, garner, obtain
Antonyms: forfeit, lose, miss, fail, grow

11.Wilting(झुकाव/कारण कमजोर पड़ गया)
Synonyms: cave in, diminish, droop, dwindle, ebb
Antonyms: develop, enlarge, expand, extend, grow

 

 

 

Credit to The Hindu News Paper

Received opinion has it that it takes years to master the quartermile and that progress at the highest level is painfully slow. Incredibly, Hima Das has proved this wrong. For someone who took to the 400 m just this year and who ran her first individual race as recently as in March, the 18-year-old from Assam has produced one stunning performance after another. So much so that her World Under-20 championships gold at Tampere in Finland on Thursday night did not exactly come as a surprise. It is a remarkable tale because Indians have never done well in sprints on the global stage, even if athletes such as P.T. Usha dominated the 400 m at the Asian level. In fact, Hima’s under-20 title was the country’s first-ever gold in a track event at any IAAF World event. Over the last few years, athletes such as discus thrower Vikas Gowda and javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra — also a World junior champion and junior world record holder — have kept India close to the global level in the throws. But it is in Hima’s strong run that the country has had a breakthrough in a track event. A farmer’s daughter from Assam’s Nagaon district, Das was a 100 m and 200 m sprinter earlier. Seen in that light, her performance graph in the 400 m this year is breathtaking. From 53.21 seconds (in her debut race in March), she has brought down her personal best to 51.13 s in just four months. “With that sort of progress, I will not be surprised if she breaks the national record — Manjit Kaur’s 51.05 s — and runs something like 50.65 s in next month’s Asian Games at Jakarta and even goes below 50 s in a couple of years,” said Usha, who came close to an Olympic bronze in the 400 m hurdles during the 1984 event.

Still, there is a feeling that all this is too good to be true, as it usually takes years of training to produce the kind of timing that Das is clocking now. While other runners appear fatigued with about 50 m left for the finish, she seems to find an extra gear and frequently powers past her wilting competitors. Her stunning progress has forced many to adopt a wait-and-watch strategy before assessing her fully. Is she a wonder girl? Only time will tell, but India needs to grab this golden opportunity to take the sport forward. The Japanese, backed by a strong junior programme, are reaping rich rewards at Tampere, and an Indonesian has emerged as the fastest man at the junior Worlds. But in Indian athletics, improvement is a big struggle and our athletes’ choice of locations for foreign training trips have often raised questions. It is to be hoped that Das’s achievement will stand the test of time and serve as a beacon of hop

Print Friendly, PDF & Email