New Delhi: Hima Das became the first Indian to win gold in an international track event by winning the 400-metre final at the World U20 Championships in Tampere, Finland. The official Twitter handle of Athletic Federation of India (AFI) was among the first to laud her performance. However, little did it know that its remark on her 'no so fluent English' would land it at receiving flak on the social media.
"#HimaDas speking to media after her SF win at #iaaftampere2018 @iaaforg Not so fluent in English but she gave her best there too. So proud of u #HimaDas Keep rocking & yeah,try ur best in final!” read the post. As soon as the post was shared, several Twitter users questioned the federation for its comment, tweeting:
Why do you even need to mention not so fluent in English but, why does an athlete even need to know English.
— Manuarora6699 (@Manuarora66991) July 12, 2018
Hima should have replied in Hindi, there is absolutely no reason for her to speak English at all, unless except the fine English speaking gentleman/gentlemen at @afiindia wanted to look more English than the British
— Vinu Abraham (@VinuLive) July 13, 2018
— J D'Souza (@johnd290) July 12, 2018
Who cares about her English?!!! Its just a language meant for easing communication. She speaks with with her strides. And her speech is pure poetry. Period.
— Monalisa Goswami (@monalisagoswami) July 12, 2018
As soon as the Twitter users began criticising the federation for its post, the AFI defended itself about its post:
सभी भारतवासियों से क्षमा अगर हमारी एक TWEET से आप आहत हुए है!असल उद्देश्य यह दर्शाना था कि हमारी धाविका किसी भी कठनाई से नहीं घबराती, मैदान के अंदर या बाहर! छोटे से गाँव से आने के बावजूद, विदेश में अंग्रेजी पत्रकार से बेझिझक बात की! एक बार फिर उनसे क्षमा जो नाराज हैं, जय हिन्द!
— Athletics Federation of India (@afiindia) July 13, 2018
Sprinter Hima Das created history on Thursday by becoming the first Indian woman to win a gold at the IAAF World Under-20 Athletics Championships 2018. The 18-year-old girl from Assam clocked 51.46 seconds in 400-metres in women's final.
Das is the first woman to win a gold medal in a World Championship at any level, be it youth, junior or senior. She is also the first Indian -- men or women -- to have won a gold in a track event at the world level.
Das, from Dhing village in Assam's Nagaon district, now joins the illustrious company of star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, who won a gold in Poland in the last edition in 2016 in a world record effort. In fact, she is the first Indian track athlete to have won a medal in the history of this competition.