Asian Games 2018: Hima Das blames external pressure for disqualification

Guwahati: Hima Das said that comments made by few people are the reason for her disqualification from the 200 metre semi-finals that put immense pressure on her at Jakarta on Wednesday.

Just a day after winning her silver medal in 400 metre, the 18-year-old athlete was disqualified in the 200 metre event due to a false start. Later in the evening, Hima bagged another silver as part of 4×400 mixed relay team.

In a Facebook Live video posted after both events, while talking in Assamese, Hima said she was under tremendous pressure to perform and blamed comments made by some as reason for her disqualification.

“There was lot of pressure on me. I request all not to put players under such pressure. Some comments hurt us. So please refrain from making such statements,” she said.

Without naming anyone, she blamed 2-3 persons from her home state Assam for adding stress on her.

“It’s because of two-three persons from Assam. However hard I try to forget, those things (comments) come to mind and make me think did I commit any wrong,” she said.

“So I request with folded hands not to create any controversy. I say it openly, the reason for my disqualification in 200 metre was because I was under lot of tension,” Hima added.

Just a day prior to her 200 metre event, a new clip was aired by a local news channel, on Tuesday. According to the clip, urine sample was collected from Hima and a possible conspiracy to implicate her in a doping case, could have added extra pressure on the athlete.

“She is very hurt by what has happened. I request everyone to keep blessing her and say positive things,” Hima’s long-time coach Nipon Das, who is also in Jakarta, stated in the same video.

It is also said that multiple of media personnel, fans and officials from Assam reached Jakarta to cover Hima’s event, and the regular interviews and disturbances might have also affected her performance.

“Ashamed. An athlete has to appeal not to pressurise her. Why are we desperate to destroy her,” tweeted Mrinal Talukdar, a senior journalist associated with a local news channel.