On a winning high after making a successful comeback, sprinter Hima Das has recently shared her experience from the time she got COVID, saying she thought she may die in her room.
At the recent Nationals, Das bagged a gold on her comeback from injury and COVID-19. She defeated Dutee Chand in the women's 100m event final at the 61st national Interstate Athletics Championships with a timing of 11.43 seconds, while Chand took 11.44 seconds.
In an interview with the Indian Express, Hima recalled how she was finding it difficult to breathe when she got inflicted with COVID-19.
"Just days after joining the (NIS) camp after my recovery, I contracted COVID. It was so bad that I honestly thought I was going to die. On the fourth or fifth day, I woke up gasping for air in the middle of the night. I opened all the windows and unlatched the door so that no one would have to break the door to enter if I die. It’s something very emotional, not many know about it," Das expressed.
By her own admission, she had lost a lot of weight in this troublesome period and was struggling with physical fitness even when she returned to practice.
"On the second day, my taste, smell and appetite had returned, miraculously, for a couple of hours. It was like magic. The next day, it went away again and took another two months for normalcy to return. I had lost a lot of weight and my muscles lost strength. When I resumed practice, I wasn’t able to run properly, I had breathing issues. My lungs were affected. The doctors also asked me not to exert myself."
In 2021, Hima Das missed out on the Tokyo Olympics after failing to achieve the qualification mark in the the 200m at the Federation Cup. She ran the race with a hamstring strain which then ruled her out of action for months, while she recovered. When she later returned to the National Institute of Sport in Patiala, she tested positive for COVID-19.
The sprinter hailing from Assam became the first sprinter from India to win a title at the world stage. She emerged victorious in the 400m World U-20 Championships event in 2018.