Sportspersons from Assam who made the state proud in 2018
2018 can be termed as the year of sports for Assam. Sportspersons from the state proved their mettle in various international events and brought laurels to Assam. For the first time this year, Assam had six participants in the contingent for the Asian Games which were held in Jakarta, Indonesia. From athletics, badminton to cricket and body-building, 2018 saw Assam taking the lead in a variety of sporting disciplines.
Hima Das: The ace-sprinter from Assam needs no introduction. Hima Das, having won three medals at the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta, including two silvers and a gold, made international headlines and put Assam on the world map.
Prior to her achievements at the Asian Games, earlier this year the ace sprinter had scripted history by becoming the first Indian woman to win a gold medal at the IAAF World Under-20 Athletics Championship held in Finland.
Adding another feather to her cap, Hima was also conferred the Arjuna award by President Ram Nath Kovind in 2018 and became the youngest Assamese to be honoured with the award.
The 18-year-old racing champion is now the brand ambassador of Assam sports and has been offered a job in the sports department by the Government of Assam. Following her stellar performances in various sporting events in 2018, Assam’s golden girl Hima Das was given an endearing name ‘Dhing Express’ by the people of the state.
Riyan Parag: In cricket this year, young cricketer from Guwahati, Riyan Parag made his mark as he was selected for the IPL-2019 season in the latest auctions held on December 18. Parag was picked up for Rs 20 lakhs by Rajasthan Royals.
Son of former Ranji player Parag Das and national record holder swimmer Mithoo Baruah Das, Riyan is a hard-hitting batsman and a spin bowler who was selected for ICC under-19 Cricket World Cup.
Riyan started playing young. He made it into Assam under-16 team aged 12 in 2013 and subsequently, he was selected for the under-19 team when he was 13. The cricketer was the third-highest run scorer in the Cooch Behar Trophy under-19 which was held in 2012-13. Further, he proved his mettle in the under-19 challenger trophy by scoring 207 runs in four innings. This excellent display of skill ensured that he was selected in the under-19 world cup.
Ashmita Chaliha: The 19-year-old shuttler from Guwahati has had an eventful year. Her first major win was the All India Senior Ranking Tournament 2018 which was held in Hyderabad.
The left-handed-player had also reached the semi-finals of another all-India tournament and her Hyderabad win boosted her chances of getting selected for the 18th Asian Games which took place in Jakarta.
She then earned her place at the Asian Games to represent India in badminton along with badminton stars Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu. This young prodigy started playing badminton at the early age of six and has been thoroughly engaged in training and practice ever since.
Ashmita, who started playing badminton out of passion, decided to pursue it as a career when she started winning tournaments in the state and national levels. It was then that a sense of professionalism set in.
Having participated in and won many national as well as international championships, Ashmita says that representing her land at such platforms gives her utmost pleasure. She also wishes to represent her country at the Olympics in the near future.
Golap Rabha: Assam’s Golap Rabha is a bodybuilder who bagged the title of Mister World under WBBF held at Lithuania in Europe on October 19 and 21. Golap, who participated in three events namely Men Bodybuilding, Men Muscle Model, and Pro-Mr World in 80 kgs category, bagged gold in all the three events.
He further won two golds in the Mr Universe and pro Mr Asia 2018 held in Thailand on November 24 and 25.
Golap, however, is not a new name in the world of bodybuilding. He already has made a niche for himself in both national and international bodybuilding.
A member of World Body Building Federation (WBBF), he has been participating in and winning competitions for over 10 years now. Rabha hails from Kaliabari village in Boko under Kamrup district and started his bodybuilding career in 2003.
Golap, 35, who started bodybuilding in 2000 under the guidance of Jiten Kalita, started competing in championships in 2003. In his first professional competition, Golap lost terribly. Instead of quitting then, he started training more aggressively, researching about the field and learning new techniques.
Hriday Hazarika: Hriday Hazarika, the young shooter from Assam, made sure that the state did not lag behind in shooting championships in 2018. Hriday clinched a gold medal in the Men’s 10m air rifle event at the ISSF World Championship in Korea.
He nailed a decisive 10.3 in a shoot-off against his Iranian rival, Amir Mohammad Nekounam.
The shooter had previously also won a gold medal in the team event in the youth category in the 10 meter air rifle event at the 10th Asian Air Gun Championship held at Wako Tokyo, Japan earlier this year.
Hriday hails from Narayanpur in Lakhimpur district.