A Gi­ant Leap for Dipa

The 22-year-old In­dian gym­nast books berth for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and is the first In­dian woman to do so

The Economic Times - - Economy -

Dipa Kar­makar on Mon­day cre­ated his­tory by be­com­ing the first In­dian woman gym­nast to qual­ify for the Olympics as she booked a berth for the Rio Games af­ter a strong per­for­mance at the fi­nal qual­i­fy­ing and test event in Rio de Janeiro.

The 22-year-old 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 held here 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 the in­de­pen­dence of the country, 11 In­dian male gym­nast 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 Fed­era- tion (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.

The 22-year-old from Tripura came very close but could not clinch an Olympic berth in the World Cham­pi­onships in Novem­ber last as she fin­ished out­side the podium (fifth place). 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 last year. —PTI

Dipa Kar­makar at the test event in Rio de Janeiro AFP

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