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Dipa Karmakar's Somersault to Success

Updated: 06 August 2016 13:58 IST

Dipa Karmakar, who became the first Indian Gymnast to qualify for the Olympics in 52 years, will be aiming to give India their first medal in gymnastics.

Dipa Karmakars Somersault to Success
Dipa Karmakar became the first Indian Gymnast to qualify for the Olympics after 52 years. © AFP

It was a DIY (Do It Yourself) apparatus made from the second-hand parts of a discarded scooter, from which gymnast Dipa Karmakar first learnt her trade. Karmakar and her coach used a stack of crash mats to make a vaulting platform, and later, had a carpenter build the apparatus from bits of a discarded scooter.

This month, the sporting sensation from Tripura will get the opportunity to show the world just how much she has progressed from those humble beginnings, when she attempts a Produnova vault at the Rio Olympics.

It is a highly challenging skill, with Karmakar being one of the only five women to have landed it in competition.

The young gymnast first shot to fame when she clinched a bronze medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. It, however, did little to shield her from the gender discrimination she faced from officials of the sport in India.

For years, Dipa Karmakar has had to make do with out-of-date equipment, due to a severe lack of funding.

Then earlier this year in April, defying all the odds, she became the first female gymnast from India to qualify for the Olympics. Funds started pouring in following her unprecedented feat, with the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and the Indian government taking care of her Rio preparations.

It has been some journey for Dipa Karmakar over the last few years, and irrespective of what happens in Rio, she has already broken a few barriers by qualifying for the event.

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Topics mentioned in this article Olympics 2016 India Gymnastics Lufthansa Olympics
Highlights
  • Dipa Karmakar became the first Indian Gymnast to reach Olympics
  • Karmakar clinched the bronze medal in the 2014 Commonwealth Games
  • Karmakar will attempt Produnova vault at the Rio Olympics
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