Tripura girl Dipa Karmakar created history on Monday by becoming the first ever female gymnast from India to qualify for the Olympics.
The 22-year-old scored 52.698 points in artistic gymnastics at the Olympic test event held in Rio de Janeiro to secure her berth for the Olympic Games in August. Besides being the first woman, she is also the first Indian gymnast to qualify for the quadrennial event after a gap of 52 years.
Since Independence, 11 Indian male gymnast have taken part in the Olympics (two in 1952, three in 1956 and six in 1964) but this will be the first for an Indian woman at the Olympics.
Dipa Karmakar’s coach revealed that the athlete suffered from a postural deformity called flat feet when she first came to train under him. According to Nandi, it is a condition that reportedly affects the spring in an athlete’s jump. Nandi recalls how Dipa had to put in the extra shift to get the curve in her feet, so that she could compete at the highest level.