Dipa Karmakar put on a stellar show to qualify for the Vault final in the Artistic Gymnastics World Cup in Cottbus, Germany. Karmakar, who had an injury-marred campaign at the Asian Games, scored 14.100 to finish at the 6th place out of 16 gymnasts in the qualification. The four-day showpiece is part of an eight-event qualifying system under which the gymnasts will make the cut based on the aggregate of their top three scores. The four-member Indian team also comprises B Aruna Reddy, Ashish Kumar and Rakesh Patra but there was disappointment for Aruna as she suffered a knee injury in her first vault and her campaign ended on a disappointing note.
Aruna Reddy had created history after becoming the first Indian to win a medal in an individual event at the Gymnastics World Cup by claiming a bronze medal in the women's individual vault event. Speaking on her withdrawal, Gymnastics Federation of India vice-president Riyaz Ahmed Bati said, “Aruna was going to perform a higher difficulty vault. In warm up, she was confident but unfortunately during the competition, her landing was little early and it hurt her knee. So she didnt perform the second vault. She is going for MRI today.”
Among Indian men gymnasts, Rakesh Patra scored 14.000 points on the Rings and finished at the 14th place out of 29 gymnasts, while Ashish couldn't produce his best, signing off at the 24th spot out of 37 gymnasts with a score of 13.200. The second day of the competition will see Dipa on Beam, Rakesh on Parallel Bars and Ashish on Vault.
The 25-year-old has been plagued by a knee injury which she sustained in the Asian Artistic Gymnastics in Bangkok, Thailand. Tripura gymnast underwent corrective surgery on her anterior cruciate ligament in April and was unable to participate throughout the season. Karmakar missed out on the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Although she had regained fitness, her coach Bisweshwar Nandi said her lengthy rehabilitation process resulted in her restricted training. Nandi said she was not yet ready fitness wise for the tournament.
However, Karmakar created history in July 2018 as she won the gold medal in the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Challenge Cup at Mersin, Turkey. Karmakar became the first Indian gymnast to win the gold medal in a world event. In the same competition, she reached the finals of the balance beam event where she finished a credible fourth.
Karmakar was in confident mood heading into the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta but in one of the practice sessions ahead of women’s qualification for team and apparatus finals, she hurt her right knee and she was forced to pull out of the final.