First Indian girl gymnast to seal berth in Olympics

Rio de Janeiro :  Dipa Karmakar has entered history books, becoming India’s first woman gymnast to qualify for the Olympics at Rio. Dipa, who is an Asian Championship bronze medallist, qualified in the artistic gymnastics event at Rio after collecting 52.698 points in the test event.

The 22-year-old recovered from a poor performance in the uneven bars on Sunday to finish strongly in the beam and floor exercises and earn 52.698 points. Dipa was originally placed on India’s reserve list for the test event before being told last month that she had been promoted to India’s main squad. Hours after creating history, the Agartala girl sprang another surprise by clinching the gold in vaults finals at the test event of the Rio Games on Monday.

Dipa came up with her gold winning effort in the first attempt itself. This gold in vaults has nothing to do with her Olympic qualification in the artistic event, which is an all-round competition.

The last time Indians participated in gymnastics at Olympics was way back in 1964, but at that time there was no qualification system in place. Six men competed at Tokyo 1964 in the artistic individual all-around category. Till date, 11 Indian men gymnasts have competed in the Olympics –two in 1952, three in 1956 and six in 1964.

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