A congratulatory tweet by the Athletics Federation of India for Sprinter Hima Das, who on Thursday won a gold at the IAAFWorld U-20 Athletics Championships, sparked row after they commented on her English.
"Hima Das 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!," the tweet read, with a video of Das responding a journalist's question in English.
Das, who hails from Dhing village in Assam's Nagaon distrist, is the first Indian woman
athlete to win a gold 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.
The 18-year-old Das, a pre-tournament favourite, clocked 51.46s to win the gold, which triggered a wild celebration at the Indian camp. This was though not her personal best as she had clocked 51.13 last month in Guwahti at the National Inter State Championships.
Following flak by many twitter users, the federation clarified the tweet was to "highlight her confidence and positive attitude".
"It was nver abt her english. Intention was to highlight her confidence & positive attitude.She is nvr shy & a fighter. AFI is her biggest supporter.Hwevr, it seems it went all wrong.Bt we r not deleting it as its a good interview ppl shuld watch," the twitter handle responded to a user as saying.
No woman before Das has won 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.
President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi applauded Das and her victory.
Taking to social media, President Kovind congratulated sprinter Das for her performance and said it is a "very proud" moment for Assam and India.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Modi said Das' win will "certainly inspire young athletes in the coming years."
(Inputs from agencies)