Dipa made history by winning the first ever World Cup gold medal by any gymnast and only the second ever World Cup medal after Aruna Reddy’s bronze on the vault earlier this year in Melbourne. She also stood fourth on beam missing on the medals as did Rakesh Patra on the rings by narrowly missing out.
After a gap of almost 2 years, the Indian Gymnastics star from the 2016 Rio Olympics, Dipa Karmakar was back in action at the FIG World Challenge Cup that held at Mersin, Turkey during 6th to 8th July 2018. Dipa was joined by Rakesh Kumar Patra who had narrowly missed the medal at the Melbourne World Cup in February, 2018 finishing in 4th place.
The Indian contingent left for Turkey from New Delhi on 4th July and will return on the 10th of July.
Dipa performed on the Vault and Beam event and was accompanied by coach, Mr Bishweshwar Nandi, on the other hand, Rakesh performed on the Rings and Parallel Bars and was accompanied by his Coach Mr Aswini Kumar Samantaray. The qualifications were held on the 6th and 7th July, where Dipa qualified in first place on Vault scoring a 13.400 and third on beam while Rakesh also made the finals qualifying in 5th position on the rings and 6th on parallel bars.
Dipa made history by winning the first ever World Cup gold medal by any gymnast and only the second ever World Cup medal after Aruna Reddy’s bronze on the vault earlier this year in Melbourne. What makes it more special is that she made her return to international competition after a long break due to injury. She also stood fourth on beam missing on the medals as did Rakesh Patra on the rings by narrowly missing out. He also came in 6th on the parallel bars.
The World Challenge Cup events are major FIG events with a broader participation. They are high standard FIG international events aimed at promoting gymnastics worldwide. At each event, the gymnasts have the opportunity to win prize money and World Challenge Cup points which will count towards the World Challenge Cup Ranking List for each apparatus. World Challenge Cups are also one way to qualify to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games according to the new FIG rules.
The participation in this World Cup at Mersin was based on request from both Dipa and Rakesh to the Federation to help provide them with some competition exposure prior to the Asian Games 2018. Both the athletes are supported under the TOPS of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. After her Olympic glory, Dipa was injured while training and got operated for a torn ACL and has been under rehab for a year. She proved her fitness by making a huge comeback recently at the Selection Trials for the Asian Games bagging the top position with a wide margin amongst the women. In the Men’s Selection Trial, Rakesh performed all apparatus and emerged as the best gymnast with impressive scores on Rings and Parallel Bars. Both of them will be part of the 5 Member Artistic team each in Men’s and Women’s gymnastics at the Asian Games scheduled in the later half of August this year. We wish Dipa, Rakesh and the rest of the gymnastics contingent the very best in their preparation for the Asian Games!
Edited by – Aditi Gandhi
Source – Gymnastics Federation of India