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Asian Games

Fact Check: Has Jyothi Yarraji won Asian Games gold?

A viral video shared by Asha Bhosle claimed Jyothi Yarraji won gold in the Asian Games. It is not correct. Athletics events at the Asian Games get underway on September 29.

Fact Check: Has Jyothi Yarraji won Asian Games gold?
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Jyothi Yarraji in action. (Source: Reliance Foundation)

By

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 26 Sep 2023 9:03 AM GMT

In the age of instant information, networking and social media, it's crucial to discern fact from fiction. The news of hurdler Jyothi Yarraji winning gold at the ongoing Asian Games spread faster than she clears the hurdles in her race.

The legendary playback singer Asha Bhosle found herself at the centre of misinformation as she shared a video on Tuesday claiming that Jyothi had won a gold medal in the Hangzhou Asiad.

Following her post on X, formerly Twitter, many have even gone on to congratulate her and the video is being forwarded on WhatsApp as India's first gold medal in athletics at the Asian Games.

After Asha Bhosle, former India cricketer and seating Member of Parliament (MP) Gautam Gambhir too made the same mistake. Another legendary cricketer VVS Laxman shared the video but later deleted it, with users correcting him.

The reality behind the viral video

The video in question showcases Jyothi Yarraji's remarkable performance at the Asian Athletics Championships, where she secured a gold medal on July 13, 2023.

While this achievement is undoubtedly commendable, it's essential to note that her event in the Asian Games has not yet commenced. The women's 100m hurdles, the event where Jyothi would compete, will take place at 6:45 PM Indian Standard Time on October 1.

This incident draws parallels to a previous case involving Indian sprinter Hima Das. Similar misleading social media posts had circulated, claiming that Hima had won a gold medal in the Commonwealth Games in 2022, even before her event got underway. It was later revealed that the viral video was from the 2018 World Athletics Championships and not from the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

Such instances of premature celebrations or misinformation can have unintended consequences. They can raise false hopes, create confusion among the public, and even put undue pressure on athletes. In an era when information travels at the speed of light, it's more crucial than ever to show restraint and verify the authenticity of the news we consume and share.

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