The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games commenced on July 28 and will continue till August 8. Indian sprinter Hima Das will represent the country in the 200 m and 4 x 100 m relay events. According to the Commonwealth Games Birmingham 2022 website, the women’s 200 m final is scheduled for August 6, while the women’s 4×100 relay final will be held on August 7.
Against this backdrop, a video of Hima Das is viral on social media. It is being claimed that she won the gold medal in the 400 m race event in the Commonwealth Games. Several people promoted this claim on the basis of this viral clip.
A user named ‘Pegasus’ tweeted the video and claimed that Hima Das won a gold medal in the 400m event in the Commonwealth Games being held in Birmingham. As of writing this article, the tweet has garnered over 70,000 likes and more than 11,000 retweets. (Archived link)
Hima Das wins 400m Gold in CWG at Birmingham 👏👏👏 pic.twitter.com/ziTYoZy7K7
— Pegasus (@srao7711) July 30, 2022
In a now-deleted tweet, Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag shared a photo of Das and wrote, “Many congratulations to Hima Das on winning gold in the 400 m at the Commonwealth Games”. (Archived link)
Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Sambit Patra also tweeted a photo of Das, writing, “History created! It is a historic moment for the nation as our athlete Hima Das wins the 400m gold medal in CWG at Birmingham. This is the first time India secured a gold medal in the track events, that too by a huge margin”. However, he deleted this tweet after some users pointed out that the video was old.
Sanjeev Jasani, the chief operating officer (COO) of the advertising agency Cheil India also amplified the video with this claim. (Archived link)
Several other users also shared the footage with the aforementioned claim.
Taking a closer look at the viral video, we noticed banners reading ‘IAAF World U20 Championship Tampere 2018’ and ‘Tampere Stadium’ appear in a frame.
We performed a keyword search, which led us to an article by the Hindustan Times published on July 13, 2018. According to this article, Hima Das became the first Indian woman to win gold at the IAAF World Under-20 Athletics Championships when she won the 400m title in Tampere.
The Hindustan Times article also includes a tweet from ‘World Athletics’ dated July 13, 2018. It carries a clip from the 400m final event.
— World Athletics (@WorldAthletics) July 12, 2018
We performed another keyword search on YouTube and found the full-length video on the World Athletics YouTube channel from 2021. Scenes from the viral video appear here between the 4:21 to 6:40 mark. This video is titled, “Women’s 400m Final – World Athletics U20 Championship Tampere 2018”.
To sum it up, several social media users including Sambit Patra and Virender Sehwag falsely linked Hima Das winning the 400m event at the 2018 IAAF World Under-20 Athletics Championships in Tampere as the ongoing Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. A video of this victory was also shared as being from 2022.
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