Tripura girl Deepika Karmakar has assured her trip to the Rio Olympics by making the cut at the qualifiers. What makes her achievement all the more special is that the 22 year old is the first Indian woman gymnast ever to qualify for event at the Olympic games. [Feature Image Credit: sportsrediscovered.com]
At the Final Qualifier and Olympic Test Event in Rio de Janeiro, Karmakar garnered 15.0666 points in her first vault, the Produnova. This was the highest among the other fourteen competitors. However, she didn’t fare well in the uneven bars and scored 11,700, the second worse score. She garnered 13.366 and 12.566 points in the beam and floor exercises, finally finishing with a total score of 52.686 points, which officials say is enough to take her through.
International referee Deepak Kagra confirmed this as per IBNLive, “Dipa is 100 per cent assured of an Olympic berth with this 52.698 score. There are three subdivisions to go but she has already beaten gymnasts from three countries. So she has qualified.” Dipa’s final rankings will be known only after completion of the event with competition in three other subdivisions going on currently.
Karmakar could not notch an Olympic berth in the World Championships in November last year as she finished fifth in the rankings. She was earlier second reserve for the ongoing Olympic Test event in Rio but was informed last month that she had successfully made it to the shortlist.
Recipient of the Arjuna award, Dipa created history in 2014 by becoming the first woman gymnast to win a medal (a bronze) in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. She then made it to the finals of the World Championships in November last year, again the first Indian woman to do so.
Now that she has created history by qualifying for the Olympics, she will be under pressure to perform well against the top athletes of the world. Here’s wishing her all the best!