Guwahati: Gymnast Dipa Karmakar made it to the vault finals after finishing third in the qualifying round of the Artistic Gymnastics World Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan on Thursday.
Karmakar performed a higher difficulty Handfront 540 vault for the first time in this competition who had earlier finished fourth at this event at 2016 Rio Olympics.
American Jade Carey took the top spot in the qualifying round with an average score of 14.70 while Mexico’s Alexa Moreno was second with 14.533.
The top eight finishers in the qualification round will compete in the final which will be held on Saturday.
Karmakar will also take part in the balanced beam event on Friday.
Vice President of Gymnastics Federation of India, Riyaz Bhati said, “It’s a good performance by Dipa. Let us hope that she stands on the podium after Saturday’s final and take one more step towards Olympic qualification.”
Karmakar had claimed a bronze at the vault event of the Artistic Gymnastics World Cup in Cottbus, Germany in November last year. It was her first appearance after recovering from a knee strain, which had forced her to miss the vault final at the 2018 Asian Games.
Recently, Karmakar launched her autobiography titled ‘The Small Wonder’. The book which is doing well in the market has been authored by sports journalists Vimal Mohan, Digvijay Singh Deo and Karmakar’s coach Bishhweshwar Nandi.
The book offers many untold stories of Karmakar and also described many struggle and triumph beside rare archival photos from the gymnast’s private album as well as the photos of her games from Olympics and Commonwealth Games.
Karmakar represented India at the 2016 Olympics in Rio who was the first Indian female gymnast to compete in the Olympics. She also attained fourth position in Women’s Vault gymnastics with an overall score of 15.066. She also became the first Indian gymnast to win a gold medal at a global event when she finished first in the vault event if the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Challenge Cup at Mersin, Turkey.
Dipa had to even endure physical assault by a gymnast from another state. Although the state of Tripura has produced many top gymnasts but the state does not count in the faction-ridden Gymnastics Federation of India and it is only after Dipa’s performance at Rio, her coach Bisheshwar Nandi received the Dronacharya Award but after backroom manoeuvres by other coaches had been exposed.