• Dipa Karmakar in action during the team classificatory contest at the Artistic Gymnastics Pre-Olympic championships. (Image. EPA/Gustavo Oliveira) (AAP)Source: AAP
At 22 years of age Dipa Karmakar has made history, qualifying to represent India in gymnastics for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
By
Sarah Norton

19 Apr 2016 - 12:33 PM  UPDATED 19 Apr 2016 - 12:33 PM

She's 22 years old and just became the first ever Indian female gymnast to qualify for the Olympics.

Dipa Karmakar created history when she qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympic games, becoming the first Indian woman to represent her country.

Her first vault took a lot of bravery and talent to accomplish. It's called the Produnova and after pulling off such a difficult move, the Indian athlete scored 15.066 points - the highest among the 14 competitors.

Karmakar isn't new to succeeding in gymnastics, nor is she new to becoming the first in India to achieve success in her field.

At the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow she became the first female Indian gymnast to win a medal, taking out the bronze at a vault event. The professional athlete was also the first female Indian gymnast to make it to the finals of the World Championships in November 2015.

Karmakar's success hasn't come without challenges and hard work.

The 22-year-old spoke to the Bangalore Mirror in August 2015 and told the publication that in India gymnastics was likened to being in the circus.

"I used to feel extremely hurt when people associated my sport to circus tricks," she told the Bangalore publication.

But the hurt didn't stop Karmaker from following her dreams. Her father was a weightlifting coach and she's been practicing gymnastics since she was six years old.

Since qualifying for the Olympic Games, social media has erupted in support of the professional gymnast.

In an article for The Hindu, credit was given to the hard work from both Karmaker and her head coach, Biswaswar Nandi.

Inidan cricketing great, Sachin Tendulkar Tweeted in support of Karmakar, congratulating her on creating history and saying she is inspiring young Indians with her achievement.

Karmaker is shedding light on artistic gymnastics in India. She is proving that women the world over can break barriers, create history-defining moments and achieve alongside male athletes.

This Indian gymnast will be one to watch when Rio begins, because she is determined to do the best she can. She hopes to get a medal. She has already achieved so much.