India’s Hima Das created history on Thursday by becoming the first track athlete from the country to win gold medal at a world event.
Hima, 18, won the women’s 400m event at the IAAF World U20 Championships in Tampere in Finland.
She clocked a time of 51.46 seconds in the final at the Ratina Stadium to become the first Indian track athlete to win gold in a world championship in any age group.
“I am very happy to win gold in the World Junior Championships. I want to thank all the Indians back home and also those who were here cheering me. It was very encouraging to have this kind of support,” Hima said after the race.
Before her, javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra had won gold in the 2016 edition of the event in Poland.
Watch the video of Hima’s historic win below. Video courtesy of Rahul Pawar and Athletics Federation of India.
While Gareth Southgate’s England team is making all the headlines in Russia, there’s another Brit looking to win a title on overseas soil.
Dubai-based athlete Andrew Clements will travel to Spain in September to compete over the 400m hurdles as part of the Great British team at the World Masters Athletics Championship in Malaga.
After missing the 2016-17 season Clements is currently in training six days a week and looking forward to competing on the Canadian and British circuits over the summer break, before heading to Spain in the first week of September for the World Championships. Talking exclusively to Sport360 he said, “I’m looking forward to competing and I think I’ve got a good chance of getting a medal. I’ll be running in Canada before heading back to the UK for a few races and then going to Malaga. I’m optimistic for a podium finish, with my 2013, 2014 and 2015 best times all quick enough to win every Masters World final ever run at the age 35-39 category.”
The Brit moved to Dubai in 2016 after a successful track and field career in the UK, which saw him compete in World and Olympic trails. “I ran for the British university team a few times and had Olympic trials. Competition in the UK is very strong and so I made the finals and got some medals on the domestic scene, as well as the Olympic trails but didn’t get any further,” he added.
The 35-year-old got involved in Ultimate Athletics at Dubai’s Sports City track thanks to his training partner and the DXBPE programme, a teacher’s initiative with workshops aimed at sharing sporting knowledge. “When I came out to Dubai a training partner was working with Ultimate Athletics and the track over at Sports City is where he trained and so I ended up going down to the race nights to get back into the swing of things.”
Clements has seen track and field in the region increase with competition from neighbouring emirates, “I’ve been in Dubai since 2016 I know for a fact that athletics is getting a lot better,” he said. “The race nights are well attended, especially when you combine the Abu Dhabi schools and the Dubai schools is great for improving the competition. Things are moving forward for sure. There isn’t much opportunity to so track and field running in the region, which is why Ultimate Athletics is getting more people interested.”
Both Andrew Clements and Ultimate Athletics are supported by New Balance. You can find out more at www.ultimateathleticsuae.com. Photography by Melissa Lear.
For those who often find themselves wondering whether Skateboarding is a real sport or not, they’d be delighted or dismayed (depending on their opinion of this activity) in learning that not only is it a sport, but an Olympic one now as well.
The sport of skateboarding is all set to make its debut in the 2020 summer Olympics held in Tokyo, Japan.
However, even before this activity became a worldwide phenomenon and was elevated to the status of an Olympic sport, skateboarding was a prominent subculture that valued creativity, risk and freedom.
The skateboarding community even have a day set aside for them to celebrate and promote their values, which is known as the Go Skateboarding Day (GSD) held on June 21 every year that also happens to coincide with summer solstice, the longest day of the year.
As skateboarders around the world celebrate the spirit of the sport, UAE’s ambassador for action sports, XDubai contributed to this day with festivities of their own as part of their initiative to promote and foster skateboarding talent in the country for the upcoming Olympics.
Go Skateboarding Day was held on Thursday, June 21 from 18:00 at the XDubai Kite Beach Skatepark, which was open to skateboarders four-years old and up and spectators of all ages and walks of life.
Dubai Police were also present at the skatepark to join in the celebrations with a supercar showcase and commend attendees on responsible and safe skateboarding as they showcase four of their famous supercars.
53-year old Dubai-based personal trainer Andy Irwin was one of the many attendees along with his nine-year-old son, Preston, who shares the same passion for this action sport.
“Skateboarding was invented in 1977 when I was about 12-years old, so it was the perfect timing for me and I have been skateboarding ever since. I am a personal trainer, I lift weights in the gym and skating is the only cardio I do and it has kept me quite fit,” said Andy.
Sport360 also spoke to Andy’s spirited son, who talked about his love for the sport and emphatically added that he aims to be a professional skateboarder when he grows up, which brought a genuine smile to his father’s face as he proudly declared, “that’s my boy.”
Andy and Preston were one of the many father-son duos who were part of the Go Skateboarding Day celebrations.
There were many competitions as well with great prizes to get everyone involved and incentivized skateboarders in the region to brush up on their basic skills and technique, which is what the judges are looking for who also offer points based on the complexity of the trick.
Since its launch in January 2016, XDubai skatepark has provided a platform for the region’s growing skateboarding community.
The largest and most advanced skatepark of its kind in the region, the 3100m2 park caters to both novice and experienced skateboarders alike as it blends seamlessly into its vibrant beachside neighbourhood with a shaded parklike setting.