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Hima got too much attention, has to understand that her future lies in sport: Galina

Even before the dates for the post-Olympic National Camp were announced, sprinter Hima Das reached the National Institute of Sports in Patiala. After the 21-year-old runner from Assam failed to make the cut for the Tokyo Olympics, he was off the track for almost three months. The forced break, believes trainer Galina Bukharina, made Hima rethink her career goals.

After switching from the 400-meter run, in which she is the national record holder, to the 100- and 200-meter run, Hima put on an inconsistent run. At the interstate meeting in June, Hima suffered a hamstring injury during the 100-meter run. It derailed her qualification offer for Tokyo.

Just months earlier at the Federation Cup in March, Hima looked in good shape as she completed 23.21 seconds (22.80 Olympic qualifying mark) to win the 200-meter title.

Coach Galina was happy with Hima’s Federation Cup results, but in the back of her mind the veteran coach knew that Hima wouldn’t be able to build on the momentum and create the cut for the Tokyo Games.

“She wasn’t ready for such a result yet and she didn’t take her practice seriously. Her practice over the two years was like this: two days good, three days bad, and one day good, two days bad. She always found an explanation for her bad days. She didn’t try to make an effort, ”Galina told The Indian Express.

The veteran Russian-American coach felt that Hima was trying to push herself to the limit in a final attempt to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics when she was not prepared. “She forgot that if you are not ready for 22 (seconds) you will not be mentally able to reach 22. She tried and that’s why she hurt herself, ”says Galina.

Galina, a coach with over 47 years of experience, thinks Hima is a great talent, but certain issues need to be addressed in order for her to reach her potential. Staying down to earth is one of them.

“She got too much attention after the Junior World Championship (2018) … I have to make it clear to her that her future lies in sport at the moment. If she wants to be in sport, she has to be a little more demanding. Not for me, I’m on the track every day. If she comes and says: ‘Coach, my body hurts today’, I tell her to get treatment. What else can I say? “Says Galina.

The three-month break from athletics did Hima good, Galina believes. It gave the youngster time to rethink her plans and see what she did wrong this season.

“She was injured and didn’t make it to the Olympics, and when she didn’t do anything for three months, she finally realized that she has to do her job very differently. She called me and told me, coach, I understood everything, ”says Galina.

Galina firmly believes in Hima and her abilities. The 76-year-old coach relies on Hima’s leadership to put together a solid 100-meter relay squad for the Asian Games. Hima is currently recovering after testing positive for Covid after reporting to the national camp in Patiala. “I still believe in her. It has some really good qualities. She’s a very good leader, ”adds Galina.

From winning the historic 400-meter gold in the U20 World Cup to not qualifying for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Hima has not exhausted her potential. Galina believes that Hima will learn from her mistakes and overcome this crisis.

“This year will be very different. She’s waiting for camp to begin and a very decent season to begin. She wants to do well at the Asian Games over 4x100m. Not only is she angry, but she is also hungry to do something really good. These are life lessons, and probably in some ways that was good. She is very young. “

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