April 18, 2016 / 8:31 AM / in 3 years

Gymnast Dipa Karmakar ends India's long wait for Olympic spot

Dipa Karmakar of India performs during the women's gymnastics vault apparatus final at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland July 31, 2014. REUTERS/Andrew Winning/Files

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Dipa Karmakar will become the first Indian woman to compete in an Olympic gymnastics competition after she secured her place for this summer’s Rio Games in a test event at the weekend.

Despite the sport receiving little funding in India, Commonwealth and Asian Games medallist Karmakar gathered a total score of 52.698 points in the final artistic gymnastics qualifying event in Rio to claim her place at the Games.

The international gymnastics federation confirmed her spot in an official release where she was listed among the individual qualifiers.

India have been absent from Olympic gymnastics events since 1964 when six male athletes competed. There was no qualification system in place at that time.

At the world championships in Glasgow last November, Karmakar became the first Indian to qualify for an apparatus final, where she finished fifth on the vault.

The 22-year-old raised eyebrows by attempting a vault with the highest difficulty (7.000) among all the finalists in Glasgow.

However, her attempt at the Produnova vault — a front handspring into double front somersault — failed to come off cleanly as her bottom touched the mat before she bounced back onto her feet.

Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Peter Rutherford

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