Gymnast Dipa Karmakar has created history to become the first Indian woman gymnast to qualify for Olympics. She booked a spot for the Rio Games after a good performance at the final qualifying event in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday.
The 22-year-old from Tripura garnered a total score of 52.698 points in the Olympics qualifying event to book a berth for artistic gymnastics in Rio Games to be in August.
Apart from being the first Indian woman, she will also be an Indian gymnast qualifying for the quadrennial extravaganza after 52 long years.
Since independence, 11 Indian male gymnasts have taken part in the Olympics (two in 1952, three in 1956 and six in 1964) but this will be the first for an Indian woman at the Olympics.
The International Federation of Gymnastics (Federation Internationale de Gymnastique) has confirmed Dipa’s Rio Games qualification in its official release.
“Following the Women’s Qualification Competition at the Gymnastics Test Event in Rio, the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) herewith confirms the list of nations and individual gymnasts that have qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games,” the world body said in its release.
Dipa has been listed as the 79th gymnast among individual qualifiers in the list of women’s artistic gymnast who have qualified for the Rio Olympics.
Her first vault, the much difficult Produnova, gave Dipa 15.066 points, the highest among the 14 competitors. But a poor show in the uneven bars took her points down as she collected only 11.700 for it.
The Tripura girl secured 13.366 and 12.566 points in beam and floor exercises.
“It was a very good score from Dipa and we were certain that she would qualify. Now the world body has published the names of the gymnasts who have qualified for the Olympics and her name is there. The gymnastics community is proud of Dipa’s achievements,” Deepak Kagra, an international referee told PTI.
The 22-year-old could not clinch an Olympic berth in the World Championships in November last year as she finished in the fifth place.
Earlier, Dipa had created history by becoming the first woman gymnast to win a medal – a bronze – in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014. She then became the first Indian woman gymnast to feature in the finals of World Championships in November 2015.
(With inputs from PTI)