GUWAHATI, Aug 30 - Assam sprinter Hima Das completed a hattrick of medal wins at the 18th Asian Games in Indonesia with the gold in the 4x400 metres women�s relay at Jakarta today.
The Indian women�s quartet of Hima Das, MR Poovamma, Saritaben Gayakwad and Vismaya Velluva Koroth clocked 3 minutes 28.72 seconds to claim the gold.
Incidentally, it was India�s fifth consecutive gold medal in 4x400 metres women�s relay at the Asian Games, thus proving the country�s remarkable domination in this event in the continental showpiece. India has been winning the gold in this event since the 2002 Asian Games.
India chose to start with Hima Das, the latest track sensation of the country, in the first position, a strategy which paid dividends in the end. Hima Das built a considerable lead of several metres ahead of her opponents at the first baton exchange. From there on, it was smooth sailing for the rest of the brigade, who kept their tempo steady to finish first but missing the Asian Games record by a whisker.
Bahrain (3:30.61) and Vietnam (3:33.23) took the silver and bronze respectively.
Earlier, Hima Das had won silver medals in the individual women�s 400 metres as also in 4x400 metres mixed relay that was introduced in the Asian Games for the first time, to round off a remarkable outing in Jakarta.
Meanwhile, Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal have congratulated Hima Das for winning the gold medal in the 4x400 metres women�s relay in the ongoing Asian Games. In a statement, Sonowal said with a gold and two silver medals in Jakarta Asiad, Hima Das has made her country and state proud, and her rare achievement will inspire the new generation to take up sports with new zeal.
The Assam Athletic Association and Arjuna awardee Bhogeswar Baruah and former India discus thrower Taybun Nisha also congratulated Hima Das for her sterling performance. The international athletes said that the Nagaon girl should now focus on the forthcoming athletic events, especially the Olympics.