Sonowal congratulates Dipa Karmakar over historic Rio Olympics qualification

New Delhi : Union Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Wednesday congratulated Dipa Karmakar after she scripted history by becoming India’s first woman gymnast to qualify for the Olympics.

“That is great news for every Indian. Dipa Karmakar has really created history by becoming the first woman athlete to represent Rio Olympics in gymnastic,” Sonowal told ANI here.

President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier lauded Karmakar for her recent achievements.

Speaking at the fifth convocation of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University yesterday, Prime Minister Modi lauded Karmakar’s commitment.

“Just yesterday a daughter of India, Dipa Karmakar brought fame to the country at Rio Olympics and for the first time a daughter is going in Gymnastic,” Prime Minister Modi said.

“She hails from Tripura, a small state with fewer resources. Is she going to Rio because of resources? No she is going because of commitment, she wants the tricolor to fly high and that is why she has reached there,” he added.

Karmakar, the 22-year-old gymnast from Tripura, had earlier exhibited a strong show as she completed her performance at the final qualifier and Olympic Test Event in Rio de Janiero and finished ninth in the first of the four subdivisions of the women’s artistic category to qualify for the Rio Olympics, 2016.

A day after sealing Rio berth, Karmakar created another history by becoming the first Indian woman to clinch gold in a global gymnastics event.

Karmakar had earlier failed to secure an Olympic berth during the World Championships in November as she finished outside the podium (fifth place).

India has been absent from Olympic gymnastics events since 1964 when six male athletes competed in the event. However, there was no qualification system in place at that time. (ANI)