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The Gymnastics Federation of India revealed the team composition that will represent the nation in the much-anticipated Hangzhou Asian Games 2023, following the conclusion of rigorous selection trials held at the esteemed Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
Earning a position of utmost prestige within this nine-member Indian gymnastics contingent was none other than the celebrated Olympian, Dipa Karmakar. With unwavering dedication and remarkable prowess, Dipa Karmakar had rightfully secured her coveted spot in this formidable team, poised to compete on the grand stage of the Asian Games scheduled to unfold in Hangzhou, China, spanning from the promising date of September 23 to the eagerly awaited closure on October 8.
Comprising five male and four female gymnasts, the Indian squad saw 29-year-old Dipa Karmakar, wth the dream of making her comeback after a 21-month doping ban, lead the selection trials with an impressive all-around score of 47.05.
Dipa Karmakar’s coach, Bishweshwar Nandi, had expressed his satisfaction, noting the challenges of a long hiatus. Despite slight discomfort in her right knee and being not yet at her peak, her coach believed that she will progress further.
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Although Dipa Karmakar secured the highest qualification score and received approval from the Gymnastics Federation of India, her participation faced a setback. The Sports Ministry’s decision to reject her entry was based on a qualification regulation established on July 10, 2023. This regulation mandates that all athletes participating in the Asian Games must have outperformed the eighth-ranked athlete from their respective events at the 2018 Asian Games over the preceding 12 months.
Due to Dipa’s absence from competitive events for more than six years, she lacks an official score in the past year. Consequently, the Sports Ministry’s updated regulations have deemed her ineligible for participation in the upcoming Asian Games.
Meanwhile, Pranati Das secured the second spot with a score of 45.80, while Protistha Samanta earned her spot after finishing third in the vault event.
Although Tokyo Olympian Pranati Nayak didn’t participate in the trials, her selection was based on her score of 44.43 at the Asian Championships 2023 in Singapore.
In the men’s senior individual category, Yogeshwar Singh from Haryana, Rakesh Patra and Tapan Mohanty from Odisha secured the top three spots with scores of 76.30, 76.20, and 74.60 respectively. Yogeshwar Singh’s selection was based on his Asian Championships score as he didn’t participate in the trials.
Gymnast Satyajit Mondal, who competed in the 2022 Commonwealth Games, was chosen for the team despite an injury during the vault section of the trials. His final selection will depend on his fitness prior to the Asian Games. Anas Ali Shaikh has been named as the reserve athlete for Mondal.
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Indian Gymnastics in Asain Games
Gymnastics marked its inaugural appearance in the Asian Games during the New Delhi edition of 1951. India took part in both men’s and women’s artistic gymnastics competitions. A significant milestone emerged when India’s P.M. Kaul secured a silver medal in the men’s vault discipline, signifying one of the earliest triumphs in the realm of Asian Games gymnastics.
Moving to the 1978 Asian Games held once more in Bangkok, India’s women’s team achieved a remarkable feat, clinching a bronze medal in artistic gymnastics. Ashish Kumar’s bronze in the floor exercise event at Guangzhou 2010 has notably anchored India’s historical gymnastics medal count at the Asian Games. However, despite his participation in the Bhubaneswar selection trials, Kumar did not secure a place this time.
The Incheon Asian Games brought the spotlight upon India’s Dipa Karmakar, who narrowly missed a medal, finishing fourth in the women’s vault finals. Her impressive performance underscored the nation’s burgeoning presence in the sport.
In the subsequent Jakarta Games, Dipa Karmakar continued her impressive run, securing a bronze medal in the women’s vault event. This accomplishment reaffirmed India’s advancing strides in the field of gymnastics on the broader Asian stage.
Indian gymnastics team for Asian Games 2023
Men: Yogeshwar Singh, Rakesh Patra, Tapan Mohanty, Gaurav Kumar, Satyajit Mondal.
Reserves: Anas Ali Shaikh (reserve for Satyajit Mondal), Saif Tamboli
Women: Dipa Karmakar (Doubtful), Pranati Das, Pranati Nayak, Protistha Samanta
Reserve: Bidisha Gayen
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