Star athlete Hima Das, who is in Patiala to resume her training, has tested positive for COVID. After failing to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, the 2018 U-20 World Champion in 400 metres took a short break to nurse her hamstring injury. “Hima returned to Patiala on 10th. On 8th and 9th she was in Guwahati and she just had mild exhaustion. We thought it was nothing to worry about. She must have tested positive during compulsory tests at Patiala,” a local coach said.
Hima’s media manager said there is nothing to worry about on the health front. The national camp for athletics is slated to begin in the last week of October but Hima arrived earlier to get a headstart. The rest of the campers are yet to report to the National Institute of Sports in Patiala, Punjab. “She is there. She wants to train and get back into form,” says 400m chief coach Galina Bukharina.
Hima was in decent shape in the run-up to the Olympics and clocked 23.21s seconds at Federation Cup in March, missing the 200m Olympic qualifying mark of 22.80s. But a grade one hamstring tear derailed her campaign. In a last-ditch effort, against the doctors’ advice, Hima ran the 200m despite the injury at the Inter-State event where she finished way off the podium mark. “Hima now wants to train hard and do well in the Commonwealth and Asian Games,” says coach Galina.
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