This is a collection of articles archived for the excellence of their content.
At the Olympics: 1947-2016
The Times of India, April 18, 2016
Between 1947 and 2016, 11 Indian male gymnasts have taken part in the Olympics (two in 1952, three in 1956 and six in 1964).
The sport of gymnastics has been in turmoil in the country in the 21st century with rival factions holding elections and claiming to be the national federation. Even the camps for the gymnasts has been held under the aegis of Sports Authority of India.
Ashish competed at 2006 CWG, 2009 World without FIG licence
Gymnast Ashish Kumar’s Claim Questions Decision To Drop Other Top Contenders From CWG Squad
India’s leading gymnast, Ashish Kumar, has blown the lid off the selection drama surrounding the Indian gymnastics contingent for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games next month. Ashish, who won India’s first-ever gymnastics medals at the 2010 Delhi CWG, claimed on Wednesday that he had competed at the 2006 Melbourne CWG and 2009 World Championships without the mandatory ‘FIG licence’ – an identification card issued by the sport’s world governing body, FIG, to all gymnasts in order to participate in international competitions.
Ashish’s revelation has come in the light of the Gymnastics Federation of India (GFI) and Indian Olympic Association’s (IOA) recent claims that Mohammad Bobby and Gaurav Kumar were denied a spot in the gymnastics contingent because they didn’t possess a valid FIG licence.
Ashish’s revelation seems to have called their bluff as the Allahabadborn gymnast further revealed that if the federation (GFI) is willing, processing of licence doesn’t necessarily take a month. “I got it in a few days. Don’t exactly know the technicalities but it all depends on the federation. If they really want, they can always get it done (from the FIG) early,” Ashish told TOI.
“I competed at the Melbourne CWG without the licence. It was my first CWG and I was very young at that time. It was only after the 2009 Worlds that I got my licence,” informed Ashish.
GFI and IOA’s problems could further be compounded as BJP’s Member of Parliament from Agra, Ram Shankar Katheria, and the Department of scheduled caste and scheduled tribes welfare under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment have written to sports minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, citing the injustice meted out to Bobby and Gaurav.
Katheria, who is the chairman of the national commission for scheduled castes, has urged Rathore to immediately take up the matter with the concerned authorities to ensure that the names of two gymnasts, Bobby and Gaurav, are included in the final CWG squad. Bobby and Gaurav, who are employed with the Indian Navy, hail from poor families in Uttar Pradesh. Bobby’s father, who died last year, was a labourer, while Gaurav’s father works in a shoe manufacturing unit in Agra. This would have been their maiden CWG appearance.
GFI and IOA officials had contended that since it would take at least a month for Bobby and Gaurav to get their licenses, their names were replaced by Rakesh Patra and Yogeshwar Singh. It’s the selection of Yogeshwar which has led to heartburn.
The results of trials, in possession of TOI, show that Ashish finished first, followed by Bobby and Gaurav. Aditya Singh Rana and Arik Dey occupied the fourth and fifth positions respectively, while Yogeshwar finished sixth.
As the selection trails were held from February 12 to 14, the federation and IOA had enough time to get their licenses made if the one-month yardstick was to be applied.
“How could a gymnast finishing sixth (total 73.45 points) be named for the CWG? I (with 75.85 points) and Gaurav (75.30 points) were well ahead of Yogeshwar on points. Patra, who only competed in three out of the six artistic rounds totaling just 40.60 points, was also included. This is cheating,” said a disheartened Bobby.
“If the GFI and IOA are saying we don’t have the licence and it can’t be made, then they should have named Arik in the squad. He finished fifth
(73.75 points) and has the valid licence (till May 2019),” he added.
When TOI contacted GFI official Deepak Kabra, he justified the team selection. “The rankings don’t reflect the right picture. The selection panel should have ranked the gymnasts based on their performance in every individual round rather than ranking them on overall performance. Bobby and Gaurav can’t go because of licence issue. Moreover, it’s the IOA which finalises the contingent.”
6th Senior ART Gymnastics Asian Championships
The Times of India, Aug 04 2015
Dipa Karmakar clinched the women's vault bronze medal. Dipa, who won a bronze in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, stood third at the podium with 14.725 points.
Gymnastics World Cup
Reddy scored 13.649
Reddy is a former black belt and Karate trainer
In 2005, Reddy won her first National medal which convinced her to take up the sport
Aruna Budda Reddy became the first Indian gymnast to clinch an individual medal at the Gymnastics World Cup in Melbourne by securing bronze in the women's vault. Reddy, 22, scored 13.649 to finish behind gold medallist Tjasa Kysslef of Slovania and Emily Whitehead of Australia who took silver. The other Indian woman in contention, Pranati Nayak finished sixth with a score of 13.416.
Reddy is a former black belt and Karate trainer. In 2005, Reddy won her first National medal which convinced her to take up the sport. Reddy finished 14th at the qualification round of the Vault apparatus at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and went one up with a ninth-place finish at the Asian Games. Also, at the 2017 Asian Championships, Aruna finished on 6th position on Vault.
Aruna will also contest in the final round of the floor event on Sunday. In other events, Rakesh Patra finished fourth in the men's rings event. He is still in the fray for the final round of the parallel bars.
Sixteen countries are featuring in the World Cup series event this year across two days of qualification with the top eight teams athletes on each apparatus heading to the finals.
Indian gymnastics was put on the map when Ashish Kumar gave the country its first-ever gymnastics medal by winning a bronze at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Then six years later at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Dipa Karmakar became the first Indian gymnast to qualify for Olympics in 52 years, where she narrolky missed out on a bronze medal.
World Challenge Cup: Dipa vaults into history with gold
Returning to action after a lay-off of nearly two years due to an injury, Dipa Karmakar on Sunday created history by becoming the first Indian gymnast to clinch a gold at a global event, as she emerged triumphant in the vault event of FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Challenge Cup at Mersin, Turkey.
The 24-year-old from Tripura, who had finished fourth in vault event in the 2016 Rio Olympics, scored 14.150 to win the top prize. She had topped the qualification with a score of 13.400.
This is Dipa's first medal in a World Challenge Cup. “This is history and Dipa has created it. She is now the first Indian gymnast to win a gold in a world level event,” Gymnastics Federation of India vice-president Riyaz Ahmed Bhati said.
In her first attempt, Dipa had a difficulty score of 5.400 while collecting 8.700 in execution for a total of 14.100. She improved the score in her second attempt to 14.200 (5.600+8.600), giving her a total average of 14.150.
Rifda Irfanaluthfi of Indonesia clinched the silver with 13.400 points while local participant Goksu Uctas Sanli took the bronze with a score of 13.200.
Dipa, who is being accompanied by her coach Bisheshwar Nandi, missed out on another medal as she finished fourth in the balance beam event. She had made the balance beam finals after finishing third in the qualification with a score of 11.850.
Dipa had suffered an Anetrior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury after the Rio Olympics and had undergone a surgery. She was initially confident of making a comeback at the Commonwealth Games but rehabilitation took more time than expected and she missed the Gold Coast event.
Meanwhile, Rakesh Patra missed out on a medal in the men's rings event finals as he finished fourth with a score of 13.650. Ibrahim Colak of the host country won the gold with a total score of 15.100 while Romanian Andrei Vasile (14.600) and Dutchman Yuri van Gelder (14.300) took the silver and bronze respectively. Rakesh also competed in the parallel bars finals but finished fifth. Dipa and Rakesh are the only two Indians who competed in the tournament.
Nov: Dipa wins world bronze in vault
Indian gymnast Dipa Karmarkar on Saturday claimed a bronze medal at the vault event on the third day of the Artistic Gymnastics World Cup in Cottbus, Germany.
The 25-year-old from Tripura, who had an injurymarred campaign at the Asian Games, scored 14.316 to secure the bronze 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.
Dipa had won a gold in the vault event of Artistic Gymnastics World Challenge Cup at Mersin, Turkey in July for her first medal after returning to action following a long lay-off of nearly two years. However, she had hurt her knee again during the Asian Games, missed the vault final and was forced to pull out of the team event.