After Dipa Karmakar’s fourth-place finish in the artistic gymnastics final at the Rio Olympics on Sunday, an unverified Twitter account in her name tweeted apologising for her inability to win a medal.
Dear 1.3 billion peoples, can't make your dreams come true. Sorry again for that, can't stop blaming myself for what happens!— Dipa Karmakar (@idipakarmakar) August 14, 2016
India has yet to win a medal at the Games and with a host of hopefuls coming up short on Sunday, the expectations on Karmakar were high. But gymnastics has little base in India, and with the bulk of India’s athletes fighting a flawed system and lack of adequate support to make it on to the global stage, Karmakar’s fourth place was a commendable performance, to say the least.
The tweet quickly went viral, garnering over 8,000 retweets and 13,950 likes. Many users commented and expressed their support and admiration for the 23-year-old from Tripura, including Olympic medallist shooter Abhinav Bindra.
Dipa Karmakar you are my hero !— Abhinav Bindra (@Abhinav_Bindra) August 14, 2016
Due to the account being unverified, there was speculation that @idipakarmakar was a fake one.
On Monday, a verified account in Karmakar’s name was created and quickly started to gather followers. However, there was no tweet put out from the verified account apologising for the fourth-place finish, leading to confusion as to which account was actually the gymnast’s. Interestingly, the account reported to be fake had more followers (16.1K) than the verified one (11.1K), at the time of writing.
Later on Monday, another tweet from @idipakarmakar said “technical problems” with the account had led to the creation of the verified account and both handles would be used by her alternately.
NOTE: Facing some technical problems with this account,contacted twitter & they ask to create a new handle now i got verified @DipaKarmakar.— Dipa Karmakar (@idipakarmakar) August 15, 2016
Hindustan Times was unable to independently verify whether the unverified account was indeed operated by Karmakar.