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Quartermile stone: on Hima Das’ gold medal


With a world-level gold, Hima Das takes Indian track and field to a higher zone

Received opinion(राय/सम्मति) has it that it takes years to master the quarter mile(तिमाही मील) and that progress at the highest level is painfully(दर्दनाक/कष्‍ट पहुँचाते हुए) slow. Incredibly(अविश्वसनीय रूप से,), Hima Das has proved this wrong. For someone who took to the 400 m just this year and who ran her first individual(व्यक्तिगत/विशिष्ट) race as recently as in March, the 18-year-old from Assam has produced(प्रस्तुत/उत्पादित) one stunning(शानदार/तेजस्वी) performance after another. So much so that her World Under-20 championships gold at Tampere in Finland on Thursday night did not exactly(पूरी तरह से/ठीक-ठीक) come as a surprise. It is a remarkable(उल्लेखनीय /असाधारण) tale(कहानी ) because Indians have never done well in sprints( पूरे वेग से दौड़ना/दौड़) on the global stage, even if athletes such as P.T. Usha dominated(श्रेष्ठ होना/प्रभुत्व रखना) the 400 m at the Asian level. In fact, Hima’s under-20 title was the country’s first-ever gold in a track event at any IAAF World event. Over the last few years, athletes such as discus thrower Vikas Gowda and javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra — also a World junior champion and junior world record holder — have kept(रखा) India close to the global level in the throws. But it is in Hima’s strong(मज़बूत/ज़ोरदार) run that the country has had a breakthrough(सफलता) in a track event. A farmer’s daughter from Assam’s Nagaon district, Das was a 100 m and 200 m sprinter earlier(पहले धावक). Seen in that light, her performance graph in the 400 m this year is breathtaking(साँस चढनेवाला/लुभावनी). From 53.21 seconds (in her debut race in March), she has brought down her personal best to 51.13 s in just four months. “With that sort of progress, I will not be surprised if she breaks the national record — Manjit Kaur’s 51.05 s — and runs something like 50.65 s in next month’s Asian Games at Jakarta and even(यहाँ तक की/समान रूप से) goes below 50 s in a couple of years,” said Usha, who came close to an Olympic bronze in the 400 m hurdles during the 1984 event.

Still(फिर भी/शांत रूप में)), there is a feeling(भावना) that all this is too good to be true, as it usually takes years of training to produce the kind of timing that Das is clocking(घड़ी ) now. While other runners appear(दिखाई/आभास होना) fatigued(मांदा/श्रांत)with about 50 m left for the finish, she seems to find an extra gear and frequently powers past her wilting(झुकाव/कारण कमजोर पड़ गया) competitors(प्रतियोगियों ). Her stunning progress has forced many to adopt(अपनाना/दत्तक लेना) a wait-and-watch strategy(रणनीति) before assessing(आकलन/आंकना) her fully. Is she a wonder girl? Only time will tell, but India needs to grab this golden opportunity(अवसर/सुविधा) to take the sport forward. The Japanese, backed by a strong junior programme, are reaping(काटने का समय) rich rewards( समृद्ध पुरस्कार) at Tampere, and an Indonesian has emerged(उभरा/प्रकट होना) as the fastest man at the junior Worlds. But in Indian athletics, improvement is a big struggle(संघर्ष) and our athletes’ choice of locations for foreign training trips(यात्राएं ) have often(अक्सर ) raised questions(प्रश्न उठाती हैं). It is to be hoped that Das’s achievement(उपलब्धि) will stand the test of time and serve(सेवा करना as a beacon of hop(आशा की किरण)




Important Vocabulary


Synonyms: assessment, assumption, attitude, conclusion, feeling
Antonyms: concrete, fact, physicality, reality, thing

2.Incredibly(अविश्वसनीय रूप से,),
Synonyms: nespecially, fabulously, strangely, uncommonly, astonishingly
Antonyms: commonly, normally, unexceptionally, usually

Synonyms: brilliant, dazzling, devastating, gorgeous, great
Antonyms: bad, homely, insignificant, normal, ordinary

4.Dominated(श्रेष्ठ होना/प्रभुत्व रखना)
Synonyms: command, control, dictate, influence, lead
Antonyms: follow, lose, obey, mismanage, neglect

5.Reaping(काटने का समय)
Synonyms: bring in, derive, gain, garner, obtain
Antonyms: forfeit, lose, miss, fail, grow

6.Sprints( पूरे वेग से दौड़ना/दौड़)
Synonyms: dart, dash, rush, scamper, scoot
Antonyms: walk

7.Even(यहाँ तक की/समान रूप से)
Synonyms: alike, balanced, constant, direct, equal
Antonyms: broken, changing, corrupt, different, dishonest

8.Still(फिर भी/शांत रूप में))
Synonyms: closed, fixed, halcyon, hushed, pacific
Antonyms: broken, changeable, unfixed, variable, agitated

9.Appear(दिखाई/आभास होना)
Synonyms: arrive, come, come out, crop up, develop
Antonyms: abandon, conceal, depart, disappear, go

10.Reaping(काटने का समय)
Synonyms: bring in, derive, gain, garner, obtain
Antonyms: forfeit, lose, miss, fail, grow

11.Wilting(झुकाव/कारण कमजोर पड़ गया)
Synonyms: cave in, diminish, droop, dwindle, ebb
Antonyms: develop, enlarge, expand, extend, grow





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