Athletics Federation of India (AFI) Issues Apology After Tweeting About India’s New Champion Hima Das’ English Skills

Hima Das on Thursday created history after she became the first Indian woman athlete to win a gold medal at the world level as she clinched the top spot in the women’s 400m final race in the IAAF World Under-20 Athletics Championships.

Published: July 13, 2018 4:37 PM IST

By India.com Sports Desk | Edited by Aakash Kumar

Hima Das celebrates winning gold in the final of the women's 400m on day three of The IAAF World U20 Championships on July 12, 2018 in Tampere, Finland. (Getty Images for IAAF)
Hima Das celebrates winning gold in the final of the women's 400m on day three of The IAAF World U20 Championships on July 12, 2018 in Tampere, Finland. (Getty Images for IAAF)

The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) on Friday issued an apology after it was pulled up by people on social media for a tweet about Hima Das, who scripted history by becoming the first Indian woman to bag a gold medal in a track event.

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Posting a video of journalists interviewing Hima Das, who won India’s first gold medal at an international track event on Thursday, the AFI tweeted: “Not so fluent in English but she gave her best there too.”

The tweet was not well received by people on social media and soon they expressed their wrath and anger at the organisation for highlighting that particular point.

In a tweet in Hindi, the AFI today said:”We apologise to all Indians if they were hurt by one of our tweets. The real intention was to show that our runner is undaunted in any situation – on the field or off it! Despite coming from a small town, she spoke without hesitation to foreign reporters in English! Once again we apologise to those offended, Jai Hindi!”

They also cleared that they would not delete the video as it was shot only after the finals.

Das on Thursday created history after she became the first Indian woman athlete to win a gold medal at the world level as she clinched the top spot in the women’s 400m final race in the IAAF World Under-20 Athletics Championships. Tense at the start, Das began slow and trailed on the home stretch, but her blazing run in the final 80m, as she overtook three rivals, saw her clocking 51.46 seconds.

No Indian woman before Das had won a gold medal in a World Championship at any level, be it youth, junior or senior.  She is also the first Indian track athlete to have won a medal in the history of this competition.

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Published Date: July 13, 2018 4:37 PM IST