Cottbus: Dipa Karmakar bagged a bronze medal in the vault event on the third day of Artistic Gymnastics World Cup in Cottbus, Germany on Saturday, in another return from injury.
Earlier this year, Dipa had returned from an almost two-year injury lay-off to win gold in the vault event at the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Challenge Cup at Mersin, Turkey.
She had become the first Indian gymnast to win a gold at the World Challenge Cup. However, she then endured an injury-marred Asian Games campaign and returned without a medal.
On Saturday, Dipa scored 14.316 in the vault discipline to secure a bronze medal in the tournament, which is also a part of the eight-event qualifying system for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Dipa had qualified for the vault finals on Friday, scoring 14.100 to finish at the sixth place out of 16 gymnasts in the qualification.
Brazil’s Rebeca Andrade won the gold with a score of 14.728, while USA’s Jade Carey (14.516) bagged the silver.
With this performance, the Indian, who had finished fourth at the Rio Olympics, inched closer to qualifying for the 2020 Olympics. “Dipa has done well in the first tournament. She will be travelling to two more events out of Australia, Doha and Baku. But this event was the toughest. Congratulations to her coach Bisweshwar Nandi. They have made the country proud. Now Olympics is not far,” said Riyaz Ahmed Bhati, Vice-President of Gymnastic Federation of India (GFI).
“I am also thankful to the sports ministry and SAI for showing faith.” On the other hand, Dipa said that she felt overwhelmed after competing with such top class gymnasts and this bronze was no less than gold for her.
She further thanked her coach, her parents, her physio, Sports Ministry and the Gymnastics Federation for their support. In the balance beam event, Dipa scored 11.066 (4.8 + 6.266) for a lowly finish out of the 32 competing gymnasts.
Rakesh Patra was ranked 16th out of 29 gymnasts in parallel bar qualification round with a score of 13,033 (5.3 + 7.733).
In the qualification round of men’s vault, Ashish Kumar finished at the 23rd place out of 27 gymnasts after scoring 12.866.
Aruna Reddy, however, couldn’t participate in floor due to the knee injury she suffered on the opening day.
The Cottbus meet is part of an eight-event qualifying system for the 2020 Olympics, under which the gymnasts will make the cut based on the their top three scores.