Dipa Karmakar, one of India's leading gymnasts, scripted history on July 8, 2018 by becoming the first Indian gymnast to win a gold medal in the vault event of the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Challenge Cup at Mersin, Turkey.
The win comes as Karmakar returned to action after a long layoff of almost two years due to a knee injury. The 24-year-old, who hails from Tripura, scored 14.150 to clinch the gold.
• This is Dipa's first medal in a World Challenge Cup. She had topped the qualification also with a score of 13.400.
• In her first attempt, Dipa had a difficulty score of 5.400 while collecting 8.700 in execution for a total of 14.100. She improved the score in her second attempt to 14.200 (5.600+8.600), giving her a total average of 14.150.
• The contestants who came second and third included Rifda Irfanaluthfi of Indonesia who clinched the silver with 13.400 points and Goksu Uctas Sanli from Turkey, who took the bronze with a score of 13.200.
• Dipa had also qualified in the balance beam finals by finishing third in the qualification with a score of 11.850. However, she ended up finishing fourth in the event.
• She was accompanied at the event by her coach, Bisheshwar Nandi.
Karmakar had suffered an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury after 2016 Rio Olympics and had to undergo a knee surgery.
She was initially confident of making a comeback at the Commonwealth Games but rehabilitation took more time than expected and she had to miss the Gold Coast event.
• Dipa along with Rakesh Patra were the only two Indians who competed in the tournament.
• Rakesh Patra missed out on a medal in the men’s rings event finals, as he finished fourth with a score of 13.650.
• Ibrahim Colak of Turkey won the gold in the event with a total score of 15.100, while Romanian Andrei Vasile (14.600) and Dutchman Yuri van Gelder (14.300) won the silver and bronze medal respectively.
• Rakesh also competed in the parallel bars finals but finished fifth.
• World Challenge Cup series is an important competition in the calendar of International Gymnastics Federation. There are six events in the World Challenge Cup series this year and this is the fourth leg of the season.
• Both Dipa and Rakesh have been included in the 10-member Indian gymnastics team for the upcoming Asian Games.
About Dipa Karmakar
• On August 10, 2016, Karmakar became the first female gymnast from India to qualify for the final vault event at the 2016 Rio Olympics, with a score of 14.833.
• She missed out on the bronze medal, finishing 4th in the finals of the Women's Vault event with an overall score of 15.066.
• She is the first Indian female gymnast ever to compete in the Olympics, and the first Indian gymnast to do so in 52 years.
• Karmakar is only the fifth woman in gymnastics history to land the Produnova vault or the handspring double front.
• She first gained attention when she won a bronze medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, becoming the first Indian female gymnast to do so in the history of the Games.
• She also won a bronze medal at the Asian Gymnastics Championships and finished fifth at the 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, creating another set of firsts for India.
• For her commendable performance in Rio Olympics 2016, the Indian Government honoured her with the Khel Ratna award in August 2016.
• She also received the Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian award, in 2017.