AFI shamed for Hima faux pas
The Athletics Federation of India on Friday had a foot in the mouth when situation when it made a reference to Hima Dass not so fluent English after her blazing run at the world under20 championships, with a timing of 5146s, attracting the ire of fans which forced the governing body to issue an apology in chaste Hindi
New Delhi: The Athletics Fed-eration of India on Friday had a foot in the mouth when situ-ation when it made a reference to Hima Das's "not so fluent English" after her blazing run at the world under-20 champi-onships, with a timing of 51.46s, attracting the ire of fans which forced the governing body to is-sue an apology in chaste Hindi.
The 18-year-old is a daughter of a rice farmer from a village in Assam's Nagaon district.
Despite the humble begin-nings, Hima scripted history by becoming the first Indian woman to win a gold at the IAAF World Under-20 Athlet-ics Championships. She claimed the top spot in the women's 400m final race in Tampere, Finland.
"#HimaDas speaking to me-dia after her SF win at #iaaf-tampere2018 @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!" the AFI wrote on its Twitter han-dle.
Fans took to the social net-working site to express their displeasure against the AFI for using what could be construed as insensitive.Miffed, fans ridiculed the tweet and said Das was in Fin-land to showcase her talent in athletics and not her expertise in the English language.
The severe backlash prompted the AFI to issue a clarification."We apologise to the country if our tweet hurt sentiments. We merely wanted to show that Hima is fearless whether on the track or outside.
Despite being from a small village, she spoke freely with the foreign media. We apolo-gise again to those who were of-fended," translated a tweet which was posted in Hindi by the AFI.
She now joins star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, who won a gold in Poland in the last edition in 2016 in a world record effort. Das is the first In-dian track athlete to have won a medal in the event’s history.