NEW DELHI, Sept 18: India�s newest sprint sensation Hima Das Tuesday said she didn�t expect to be nominated for the Arjuna award this year, despite her stunning season in international athletics.
The 19-year-old from Assam was among the 20 sportspersons recommended for the Arjuna Award, which is subject to approval by Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.
�I didn�t expect to win the Arjuna this year. I was thinking may be next year, I will be considered,� said Hima, who clinched the gold medal at the U-20 World Championship in Finland, on the sidelines of a promotional event organised by adidas.
Hima was today made the brand ambassador of the sports manufacturing giant.
Nicknamed the �Dhing Express�, Hima has been a sensation this year as she added three medals � a gold and two silvers from the 18th Asian Games � to her World Championship gold.
The star sprinter won gold in women�s 4�400m and silver medals in mixed 4x400m and 400m individual event.
Asked when she will start training, Hima said: �The season is over now. Next year, there is South Asian Games, Asian Championship and World Championship, so how to approach the different events and how to prepare I will do it during training.�
Asked which race she holds close to her heart, Hima said: �The Finland (World Junior Championship) race remains one of my favourites and also the semifinal at Asian Games when it had started raining.�
Hima had produced her personal best timing of 50.79 secs to win silver at the 400m race.
�There are few targets in my mind. I will do that one by one. People expects a lot for me now and I will achieve that. I scored 50.79 at Asian Games, so even 50.78 is a step ahead,� she said.
�I thrive in competition, it feels good to improve timings and create records.�
Asked about the contribution of India�s foreign coach Galina Petrova Bukharina, Hima said: �She is very supportive. She herself is an Olympian and sometimes we also don�t realise her methods and later we come to know why we did a particular training. So we always come prepared everyday for the challenge that she will throw at us.�
Asked if she will participate at the National Open Athletics Championships to be held in Bhubaneswar, Odisha on September 25.
�At this moment, I haven�t decided if I will participate in the open Nationals. Lets see,� said Hima, who had withdrawn from IAAF Continental Cup which was held on September 8 and 9.
Hima had crashed into a team hug with the Japanese team after she jogged over them, following the Indian women team�s 4x400 relay gold.
�After we got the gold medal, they (Japan team) said hi to me and then they came to hug me, so I also hugged them.�
Hima gets the crowd involved exuding confidence ahead of her races.
She said: �I don�t show tension and nervousness but I know how fast my heartbeat races before a race.� � PTI
Meanwhile, the Directorate of Sports and Youth Welfare, Assam Athletic Association, Assam Olympic Association along with sports fraternity congratulated Hima for being nominated for Arjuna Award.