Dipa Karmakar from Tripura becomes first woman gymnast to qualify Olympics

Image courtesy: The Indian Express

In the gymnastics event of of 35th National Games in 2015, Tripura-girl Dipa Karmakar bagged five golds braving a serious ankle injury.

When it comes to the business of gymnastics she turns deadly with her ‘Prudunova Vault’, which is considered to be one of the toughest in the trade of vaulting.

Bagging a bronze medal in Glasgow Commonwealth Games held in 2014, she became the first medal winning woman gymnast from India in a Commonwealth Games.

Now, in something more auspicious, she has qualified for the upcoming Rio-Olympics, thus becoming the first Indian woman gymnast to do so.

In the qualifiers to the Olympic berth, she garnered 15.066 points with her stupendous Prudunova vault, the highest among her 14 competitors. However, a poor show in the uneven bars took her points down. She collected 11.700 in uneven bars, 13.266 in beams and 12.566 in floor exercises.

In the world gymnastic championships held in November last, she was not able to grab her Olympic berth as she could finish only in the fifth position.

However, Karmakar was also the first to be featured in the finals of the World Championship.

“Dipa was five and showed great reluctance to join me when she was brought to my academy by her Father Dulal Karmakar,” recalled her coach Bishweshwar Nandi who runs the NSRCC coaching center in Agartala. Dipa’s father Dulal Karmakar was a former weightlifter from Tripura and presently weightlifting coach at Sports Authority of India (SAI).

“We can see the twinkle of determination in her eyes which never seems to absent despite her limitations owing to injuries,” added Bishweshwar.

The 22-year old gymnast is happy she has been positive in inspiring a lot of girls to the event – Gymnastics. “I love being the Mary Kom here,” she was quoted earlier in 2015.
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