Dipa Karmakar, who became the first Indian woman gymnast to secure Olympic qualification, earned praise from former Indian cricketers Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid, for her amazing achievement.
Congratulations #DipaKarmakar on creating history with your qualification. You inspire young Indians with your achievement. Best wishes.— sachin tendulkar (@sachin_rt) April 18, 2016
Dravid who is part of the Board of Advisors at Go Sports Foundation, the organisation which supports Karmakar, took to Facebook to express his delight.
Karmakar will will now get additional assistance of Rs 30 lakhs from the sports ministry as part of the TOPS – Target Olympic Podium Scheme.
Despite the sport receiving little funding in India, Commonwealth and Asian Games medallist Karmakar gathered a total score of 52.698 points in the final artistic gymnastics qualifying event in Rio to claim her place at the Games.
The international gymnastics federation confirmed her spot in an official release where she was listed among the individual qualifiers.
India have been absent from Olympic gymnastics events since 1964 when six male athletes competed. There was no qualification system in place at that time.
At the world championships in Glasgow last November, Karmakar became the first Indian to qualify for an apparatus final, where she finished fifth on the vault.
The 22-year-old raised eyebrows by attempting a vault with the highest difficulty (7.000) among all the finalists in Glasgow.
However, her attempt at the Produnova vault — a front handspring into double front somersault — failed to come off cleanly as her bottom touched the mat before she bounced back onto her feet.
Feature image source: AFP