The way forward for India’s gymnasts

As the Cottbus Event World Cup concludes today in Germany, India has had its mix of results.

This World Cup is the first in a series of eight that allows athletes to qualify their spot to the Olympics in Tokyo.

Each athlete must count their three best finishes to gain the spot, the athlete with the most points will acquire it (to know more about the qualification process click here). With the new qualification process and athletes being able to win Olympic berths for themselves, these World Cup series have become more competitive than ever due to numerous top gymnasts opting for this route.

The Indian Gymnastics Federation (GFI) sent their top gymnasts, men and women, in the form of Dipa Karmakar, Aruna Reddy, Rakesh Patra and Ashish Kumar. While Dipa planned to compete for her most influential events, vault and beam, Aruna was scheduled for floor and vault. On the men’s side, Rakesh Patra competed for rings, and parallel bars and Ashish tried his luck on the floor and vault.

The competition

The qualifications were packed with the very top gymnasts from around the world. Dipa Karmakar was the only Indian gymnast to make it to the finals on vault amidst a competitive vault line up with numerous world vault medalists including Jade Carey, Alexa Moreno and Rebecca Andrade.

While she qualified in sixth place, things didn’t go as planned for Aruna who attempted her new 1.5 twisting handspring vault but was not able to land and ended up injuring her knee due to which she could not complete the rest of the competition.

According to GFI Vice President, Riyaz Bhati, Aruna will get an MRI and her knee evaluated over the next few days.

Over on the men’s side, although Rakesh completed his rings routine successfully, a lower difficulty value landed him in 14th place and out of the finals. Ashish Kumar was also unable to make the finals on vault or floor.

In the event final yesterday, Dipa was up second during the vault final. She once again delivered two strong vaults, the full twisting handspring in the stretched position and the double twisting Tsukhara landing her a 14.316 which was higher than qualifications.

She ultimately claimed the bronze medal in the event which meant she is now awarded 20 points for this victory. She must now continue her World Cup with more performances such as this one to gain more points to win that coveted Olympic berth.

We wish her and the rest of the Indian contingent the very best in their preparation and hope to see many more victories in the near future from these incredible athletes!