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
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