After becoming the first Indian woman gymnast to qualify for the Olympics, Dipa Karmakar has set her eyes on a podium finish at the Rio Games scheduled to be held in August.
The 22-year-old garnered a total score of 52.698 points in the Olympics qualifying event on Monday to book a berth for artistic gymnastics in Rio Games.
"It is a good feeling to win a gold medal," Dipa was quoted as saying at the official Facebook page of the International Federation of Gymnastics.
"My next objective is an Olympic medal podium," she said after clinching the gold in vaults finals at the test event of the Rio Games on Monday.
Karmakar, who performs one of the world's most difficult vaults, secured the historic spot 52 years after India last took part in an Olympics in gymnastics -- when six men competed at the 1964 Tokyo Games. There was no qualification system in place at that time.
The Tripura girl scored 14.833 as her best effort to finish first in the women's vaults finals at the Rio Olympic Arena. She defeated 2008 Olympic silver medallist Oksana Chusovitina of Uzbekistan.
Karmakar is one of only five women in the world to successfully perform the Produnova vault -- a front handspring into a double front somersault.
Since the independence of the country, 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.
She has told the BBC about initially training in a gym in Tripura that flooded during the annual monsoons, lacked a vault and was home to cockroaches and rats.
But the qualification means Karmakar is entitled to up to three million rupees ($45,000) for training, the Sports Authority of India said in a tweet on Monday.
The International Federation of Gymnastics (Federation Internationale de Gymnastique) confirmed her spot in an official release in which she was listed among the individual qualifiers.
Watcher Dipa's historic feat here
With inputs from agencies
First Published On : Apr 19, 2016 14:29 IST