Indian @Rio Olympics 2016: Dipa Karmakar

Blog by: Suryakant Tripathi.

The Gymnastics Federation of India may not have a Wikipedia page of their own, but one Indian who is putting the nation on the global map in gymnastics is Tripura-born Dipa Karmakar. The 22-year-old, who had flat feet on birth, has put in stellar performances for India in several global events and continues to remain a shining light for India as far as the sport is concerned and has now become the 1st ever Indian woman gymnast to qualify for an Olympics.

Here are 10 things to know about her:

  1. Dipa Karmakar was born on the 9th of August 1993 in Agartala, Tripura. She first took to gymnastics at the age of six and started to train under veteran Bisbeshwar Nandi. He has been her coach ever since then.
  2. Even before progressing into serious gymnastics, Karmakar’s future in it was unsure since she had flat feet and in an interview to Firstpost, Nandi said as a gymnast it wasn’t ideal to have that and admitted that it took her loads of hard work to curve her feet.
  3. She first came into the limelight in 2007, when as a 14-year-old, she won the Junior Nationals that were held in Jalpaiguri. She was part of the Indian team at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi and gained further motivation to excel in the sport when she saw Ashish Kumar win India’s first ever gymnastics medal at the Games.
  4. In 2011, Karmarkar featured in the Nationals where representing Tripura, she clinched 5 Gold medals in the floor, vault, all-around, beam balance and uneven bars category.
  5. At the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Karmakar became the first Indian woman to win a medal at the Games after clinching the bronze with a vault of difficulty 7.00 in vault and an overall score of 14.366. She also became the second Indian overall after Ashish Kumar to win a medal at the Commonwealth Games.
  6. A few months later, Karmakar finished a commendable fourth at the Asian Games in Incheon with a final score of 14.200.
  7. In 2015, Karmakar logged the highest score on a pradunova in the world with a tally of 15.100 that includes 7.00 for difficulty, 8.1 for execution and 0.1 for penalty. Only two other of her contemporaries have competed in the pradunova: Yamilet Pena of Dominican Republic and Fadva Mahmoud of Egypt.
  8. At the Artistic Gymnastics Asian Championships in Japan last year, Karmakar won the bronze in the vault event and finished 8th in the balance beam event.
  9. She created history a few months later by becoming the first Indian to progress through to the finals of the 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships  with a tally of 14.900 in the qualifying round to seal a finals berth where she finished 5th with a tally of 14.863.
  10. On April 18th 2016, Karmakar became the 1st ever Indian woman gymnast to qualify for an Olympics after she entered the final of a Test event at Rio De Janerio with a score of 52.698 and in the final finished in 42nd place.

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