India’s Dipa Karmakar created history on Monday after she became the first Indian to qualify for the apparatus finals of artistic Gymnastics at the Rio 2016 Olympics. Karmakar, who hails from Tripura, finished eighth in the qualification event of the Vaults and scored 14.850 to qualify. She could not repeat her performance in three other events, namely uneven bars, balancing beam and floor exercise. Though Karmakar was sixth before the final round, a strong performance from Canada saw her slip to eight but that was the last position to qualify.
In a total of five subdivisions, the gymnasts tried to qualify by finishing in top eight. After three subdivisions, Karmakar was sixth and her qualification depended on performances from gymnasts from USA, Japan, Canada and Russia.
The finals of the artistic Gymnastics will be held on August 14, Sunday at 2315 hrs IST.
USA’s Simone Biles, the flying American, who said she “didn’t want to die doing Produnova” tallied a monstrous 16.050 to top the qualification.
The subdivision five, which had six gymnasts – Saw Miyakawa (Japan), Marcia Vidiaux (Cuba), Alexa Moreno (Mexico) and Canada’s Brittany Rogers, Elsabeth Black and Shallon Olsen, saw only one qualification.
But Miyakawa was 11th after averaging 14.366 after two vaults and she bowed out of finals contention. Cuba’s Vidiaux had a scary landing and her second vault got stuck. Mexico’s Moreno stumbled in her first to score only 14.400 and the second vault 14.633 and she failed to qualify.
But it was Canada’s Shallon Olsen with a vault which had two and a half twists that got her a score of 15.300. It was one of toughest vaults of the day. She then scored 14.60 on her second vault and confirmed her qualification.