HomeSportsGymnastics10 Famous Indian Gymnast of All time | India’s Gymnastic Stars
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10 Famous Indian Gymnast of All time | India’s Gymnastic Stars

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Gymnastics – Before Rio Olympics 2016, it was hardly a known entity in India. Then came Dipa Karmakar, who impressed everyone with her exceptional performance in the Olympics. People praised her. Wrote about her on social media. And in less than a month, Indian Gymnast players went back to being hardly a thing in India. What we don’t know is the fact that before and even after Dipa, there are few others, who have made India proud on an international level. In fact, India had its first Gymnastics participation at the Olympic Games way back in 1952. Then again in 1956 and 1964.

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But despite all the obstructions, a handful of Indians have worked really hard to achieve success in Gymnastics. And it would be a shame if we don’t acknowledge and celebrate their success just because this particular game is not popular enough. Here are the 10 best Indian Gymnast of all time:

List of 10 famous Indian Gymnast

S.N Indian Gymnasts Achievements
1 Dipa Karmakar · First Indian female to qualify for the Olympics.

· Winner of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award and Padma Shri.

· Bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games.

· Only the 5th gymnast to pull of the Produnova vault.

· Bronze in 2015 Asian Championship (Vault)

2 Aruna Reddy · Bronze medal in the women’s individual vault event at 2018 Gymnastics WC (first Indian to win the medal in an individual event)
3 Ashish Kumar · Bronze at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

· Silver in men’s vault CWG 2010.

· Bronze medal in 2006 – Asian Championship.

4 Meghana Gundlapally Reddy · First Indian to perform in Rhythmic Gymnastics at the 2018 Commonwealth Games
5 Sham Lal · Participated in 7 events at the 1956 Summer Olympics. Arjuna Award – 1961.
6 Mantu Debnath · 1st Indian gymnast to win an international competition in Russia in 1969.

· Arjuna Award – 1975

7 Sunita Sharma · Arjuna Award – 1985
8 Krupali Patel · Arjuna Award – 1989
9 Kalpana Debnath · Arjuna Award- 2000
10 Pranati Nayak · 2019 Asian Championships vault bronze medalist.

· Second Indian female gymnast to qualify for the Olympic Games.


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Dipa Karmakar: Indian Gymnast

10 Famous Indian Gymnast of All time | India's Gymnastic Stars | KreedOn
Best Indian Gymnastics players: Dipa Karmakar (Credits India.com)

First on the list is, of course, the blue-eyed Indian Gymnast & superstar Dipa Karmakar. But before we get to her Rio 2016 story, let us see how and where she started.

Dipa first grabbed the headlines in 2014, when she won a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in women’s individual vault. She became the first Indian gymnast (female) to win a medal in history.

But more than a medal, it was Dipa’s performance that surprised the world. She executed the most difficult vault, the Produnova vault, also known as the vault of death with a score of 15.1 (D-7, Ex- 8.1). She became only the 5th gymnast to pull of the Produnova vault. In the 2015 Asian Championship, Dipa won yet another bronze in Vault, yet another first for any Indian Gymnast.

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Dipa became the first Indian Gymnast (female) to qualify for the Olympics after her score of 14.833 in the Test Events. The girl from Tripura gave everything in Rio but just missed out on a bronze medal finishing fourth overall.

Dipa has since been awarded by Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award and Padma Shri by the Government of India. And if her willpower is anything to go by, she will definitely make up for missing out on an Olympic medal in the next year’s Tokyo Games.

Aruna Reddy: Indian Gymnast

10 Famous Indian Gymnast of All time | India's Gymnastic Stars | KreedOn
Image Source: The Economic Times

Aruna Reddy created history at the 2018 Gymnastics World Cup, by becoming the first Indian gymnast to win the medal in an individual event. She won the bronze medal in the women’s individual vault event and that was the first time Indian National Anthem was ever played during the Gymnastics World Cup.

The 23-year old also participated in the 2018 Commonwealth Games in both individual and team events but failed to repeat her World Championship heroics. Aruna has also performed at 2013, 2014, and 2017 World Championship before her eventual success in 2018.

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Ashish Kumar: Indian Gymnast

10 Famous Indian Gymnast of All time | India's Gymnastic Stars | KreedOn
Best Indian Gymnastics players: Ashish Kumar (Credits Hindustan Times)

Yes, Dipa Karmakar brought fame to Gymnastics in India. But the credit must go to Ashish Kumar (Indian Gymnast) as well, who won India’s first-ever medal in Gymnastics on an international stage.

The Allahabad-born Kumar won not one but two medals at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. He first won the bronze medal in the floor exercise and followed it with a silver in men’s vault. His exceptional year continued with yet another bronze in the floor exercise at the 2010 Asian Games. Now a 29-year old veteran of the game has also won a bronze medal back in 2006 in Asian Championship.

And Ashish Kumar had to do it against all odds. After Ashish’s historic bronze at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the Gymnastics Federation of India asked his coach,

Is this all that you can deliver, a bronze?” To which, the coach revealed how they had to struggle for basic needs for Ashish’s practice. “In August 2009, we had no equipment. Ashish trained on the hard floor till February 2010, and then we got equipment around 20 years old.” said the coach, revealing the situation of Gymnastics in India.

Meghana Gundlapally Reddy: Indian Gymnast

10 Famous Indian Gymnast of All time | India's Gymnastic Stars | KreedOn
Best Indian Gymnastics players: Meghana Gundlapally Reddy

Meghana Gundlapally Reddy became the first Indian Gymnast to perform in Rhythmic Gymnastics at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. She is just 16-year old right now with a great future ahead of her.


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Sham Lal: Indian Gymnast

Sham Lal was born in 1938. He is a famous Indian gymnast who participated in 7 events at the 1956 Summer Olympics. Also, he is the first 1st Gymnast to win the Arjuna Award in 1961.

Mantu Debnath: Indian Gymnast

Mantu Debnath belongs to Agartala, Tripura. He became the 1st Indian gymnast to win an international competition in Russia in 1969. Mantu was the winner of the national gymnastics championship. Also, he won the Arjuna Award in 1975 for his contributions to gymnastics. Mantu was the 1st Arjuna awardee from Tripura and the 2nd Indian Arjuna awardee for gymnastics after Sham Lal. This great gymnast was trained by legendry athlete Dalip Singh.

Sunita Sharma

Sunita Sharma is an Indian gymnast from Ambala, Haryana. She is the winner of the prestigious Arjuna Award in 1985 for her achievements in the field of gymnastics.

Krupali Patel

Krupali Patel is an Indian gymnastics player & coach. She won the Arjuna Award in the year 1989 for her significant contributions to Indian gymnastics. She holds the record of India’s youngest Arjuna awardee.

Kalpana Debnath

Kalpana Debnath is another Indian gymnastics player from Tripura. She is the winner of the Arjuna Award in 2000. She is the 2nd Arjuna awardee from Tripura after Mantu Debnath.

Pranati Nayak

Image Source: Olympics.com

Pranati Nayak, an accomplished Indian artistic gymnast, earned the vault bronze medal at the 2019 Asian Championships. Following in the footsteps of Dipa Karmakar and Aruna Reddy, she secured her spot as the third Indian gymnast to achieve an international vault medal. With her representation at the 2020 Summer Olympics, she became the second Indian female gymnast to qualify for the prestigious event. Notably, Pranati also clinched the title of the 2019 Indian all-around champion. Her notable appearances include competing for India in the 2014 and 2018 Commonwealth Games, as well as the 2014, 2018, and 2019 Asian Games. Additionally, she showcased her skills at the 2014, 2017, and 2019 World Championships.

Other Gymnasts

Let us start with a few names which are difficult to find even on the internet but their work needs to be recognized.

Indian Gymnastics Players

Vir Singh and Khushi Ram were the first Indian Gymnastics players to represent India in the Olympics. Then 22-year old Singh and 36-year old Khushi were both from Gurdaspur in Punjab. Although they finished last in almost every event, it is worth remembering their names as the first ones on the biggest stage to represent India.

Anant Ram is the only Indian gymnast to represent India at two different Olympic Games – At Melbourne in 1956 and Tokyo in 1964. And there is every chance that he will not be the only one to do so at the end of Tokyo 2020.


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FAQs

What is Dipa Karmakar known for?

Dipa Karmakar gained fame for being the first Indian female gymnast to compete in the Olympics (2016) and for her remarkable performance in the vault event.

Who is Aruna Reddy?

Aruna Reddy is a notable Indian gymnast recognized for being one of the early Indian gymnasts to win a bronze medal in vault at the 2018 World Cup.

What are the achievements of Ashish Kumar?

Ashish Kumar is renowned for being India’s first-ever male gymnast to win a Commonwealth Games medal, clinching a bronze in floor exercise and a silver in vault at the 2010 Games.

What is Dipa Karmakar’s signature move?

Dipa Karmakar is known for her “Produnova” vault, one of the most challenging vaults in artistic gymnastics, which has contributed to her recognition on the global stage.

What is Pranati Nayak’s notable achievement?

Pranati Nayak made history by becoming the third Indian gymnast to win an international medal on the vault at the 2019 Asian Championships.

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Chinmay Pagar
Chinmay Pagar
I might be a Mechanical Engineer on the paper, but I was a Sports enthusiast since childhood, screaming at the TV watching cricket at the age of 4. Not much excites me other than sports unless it's free pizza. I can watch literally anything remotely related to sports; Cricket, Football, Tennis, F1, Hockey, Athletics, Chess, you name it! And I love to write too, so at the time I'm not watching sports, I'm writing about it. Or eating pizzas, of course.

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