- Hima Das, the World Under-20 400m champion, has been included in the women as well as the mixed 4x400m squad for the upcoming World Championships.
- Her participation, however, depends on whether she recovers in time from the recurring back injury.
- “At this point, we’re trying to figure out," AFI president Adille Sumariwalla informed.
However, her participation depends on whether she recovers in time from the recurring back injury and its effects on her timings in the team events. The injury has been troubling the Assamese since last year’s Asian Games. There will be another monitoring session right until the relay events at the Doha World Championships that will start later this month.
Whether Hima will be allowed to run at the relays will be taken depending on the feedback by sports medicine experts closely monitoring her, Athletics Federation of India (AFI) president Adille Sumariwalla informed The Indian Express on Monday.
“At this point, we’re trying to figure out (how her back is). We have a sports medicine expert with her (at the foreign camp) and will take a final call on her later. Of course, she continues to have the back issue. That is why coach Galina (Bukharina) made her run these smaller events to assess how her back was,” Sumariwalla said.
“It is ok when she is running at a slower pace; the problem is when she is running at a faster pace. We need to see if she can take the strain of a fast run because this is the world championships and not a small championship in the Czech Republic or Poland,” he added.
Earlier at the Doha Asian Athletics Championships in April, Hima failed to finish the 400m heats due to the back flare she faced was on track. And the AFI doesn’t desire to take another risk in a team event at a crucial competition like World Championships.
Hima went on to win four gold medals between July 2 and July 20, each in the 200m and one in 400m at lower-level races in Europe. Then she won gold in the 300 metres in mid-August at Nove Mesto, Czech Republic.
However, the 19-year-old, couldn’t meet the qualifying standard in her favourite event – 400m sprint. For qualification, Hima needed to cross the line 51.80 seconds. However, the back injury prevented the sprinter from giving her best, as the least she has managed this season is 52.09. This is significantly down from the personal best as well as the national record of 50.79.
“She has been running in the 52s (seconds) and see what happened in Doha; we don’t want her sitting down at 200 metres. Her back is now being monitored. Closer to the World Championships, a call will be taken if she will be fielded in the relay team,” Sumariwalla added.
A total of 14 athletes have been picked for the men, women and mixed relay squads for the 4x400m relay.
Men: Jabir MP (400m Hurdles), Jinson Johnson (1500m), Avinash Sable (3000m Steeplechase), KT Irfan and Devender Singh (20km Race Walk), Gopi T (Marathon), Sreeshankar M (Long Jump), Tajinder Pal Singh Toor (Shot Put), Shivpal Singh (Javelin Throw), Muhammed Anas, Nirmal Noah Tom, Alex Antony, Amoj Jacob, KS Jeevan, Dharun Ayyasamy and Harsh Kumar (4x400m Men’s & Mixed Relay).