Hima Das won the gold medal in the 4X400 m relay in the 2018 Asian Games. (Image credit: Twitter)
World junior champion Hima Das has been ruled out of the upcoming World Championship due to a nagging back problem. "Unfortunately Hima will not be able to compete at the World Championships in Doha due to her back injury," Athletics Federation of India (AFI) president Adille Sumariwalla told PTI. The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) had on September 9 named seven women, including Hima, for the 4x400m relay and 4x400m mixed relay races at the World Championships to be held from September 27 to October 6 in Doha. However, Hima's participation in the relay events became a matter of intense speculation after she was left out of the initial entries of Indian women athletes for the two relay races submitted by AFI to the IAAF for the showpiece event.
Jisna Mathew, MR Poovamma, Revathi Veeramani, Subha Venkatesan, V K Vismaya and Ramraj Vithya were entered for the women's 4x400m relay, while Hima's name was missing. The 19-year-old Assamese runner was also not entered for the mixed 4x400m relay race. Jisna, Poovamma and Vismaya were named along with Jacob Amoj, Muhammed Anas and Noah Tom Nirmal.
Sprinter Dutee chand was later added in 100m after she received an invite from IAAF. Hima has been suffering from a lower back pain after competing at the Asian Games last year. She pulled out of the individual 400m heats during the Asian Championships in Doha in April midway through the race.
At that time, deputy chief coach Radhakrishnan Nair had said that the injury was a lower back spasm (at L4 and L5, two lowest vertebrae in the lumbar spine). Even during her training stint in Europe, as part of preparations for the World Championships, she ran just one 400m race as she is learnt to be in pain while running longer distances. Between July 2 and 20, Hima won four gold medals in 200m and one yellow metal in 400m at sub-par races in Europe.
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In August, she won a gold in 300m. She could not qualify for the World Championships in her pet event of 400m, with her season's best remaining at 52.09sec as compared to personal best of 50.79.