Commonwealth Games 2022: Pranati Nayak on track for surprise medal to redeem Tokyo disappointment
Gymnast Pranati Nayak has qualified for the Vault finals at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022. Can she become India's third gymnast to win a medal in CWG history?
In an edition that has so far been dominated by the showing of Indian weightlifters, shuttlers, and paddlers, Pranati Nayak has quietly done her bit and booked her place into the Women's Vault final. And going by records, she even stands a good chance of a medal.
Nayak did extremely well to finish joint-second in the qualification round with a total of 13.275. Canada's Laurie Denommee also received the same score in second place. Scottish Shannon Archer's 13.500 got her the top spot in qualification.
If she can repeat her performance from Sunday, we can expect a special medal in Gymnastics at the 2022 CWG.
The 27-year-old Indian gymnast is no stranger to the CWG stage, having represented the country since the 2014 edition. In the Gold Coast Games too, she had reached the Vault final where she finished 8th with a score of 11.983. Having already bettered her 2018 final score by a great margin in this year's qualification, Nayak is certainly a dark horse in contention for a medal.
Indian gymnasts haven't been quite successful in the Commonwealth Games but three special medals have come in history. In the 2010 Delhi Games, Ashish Kumar clinched silver in the Men's vault and bronze in the Floor exercise, India's first ever CWG medals in gymnastics.
In 2014, Dipa Karmakar won the bronze in Vault and became the first Indian female gymnast to win a medal at an international level.
After a tough Tokyo Olympics, Nayak had received a lot of flak for her inability to reach any of the finals. A controversy had broken out about her lack of ambition when she came back from the finals without even attempting all the apparatus.
"Pranati was injured and it made sense to save her efforts for future events," Pranati's coach Lakhan Sharma had told The Bridge.
Now, she has the perfect opportunity for redemption. Can Pranati get India's fourth medal in gymnastics in the history of the Commonwealth Games? Her final is at 6:40 pm IST on Monday.