Five years ago, Jisna Mathew won her first medal of significance, a silver in the 400m at the Asian Youth Athletics Championships in Doha. Taking the gold in that under-18 meet was Bahrain’s Nigeria-born Salwa Eid Naser, the current world champion and the third fastest female quartermiler in history.
Naser’s gold came in 53.08s while Mathew, then only 16, clocked 53.84. The 22-year-old Bahraini, the current World No. 1, now has a stunning personal best of 48.14s which came at the Doha Worlds last October along with the gold medal and the Asian record.
For the last three years, Jisna has been closely watching the stunning rise of another athlete. It’s Hima Das, the 400m national record-holder, under-20 world champion and the Asian Games silver medallist from Assam.
Strange twists and turns