The Asian Gymnastics Championships is a pan-Asian competition for each of the FIG gymnastics. There are all-together 5 disciplines spread across the men’s and women’s categories- artistic gymnastics, acrobatic gymnastics, and aerobic gymnastics. The first senior edition of the tournament was only held in 1996. Different disciplines have different time frames during which they started. The first edition of artistic gymnastics took place in Changsha, China in 1996. However, acrobatics had started long before this in 1992 in Hong Kong. On the other hand, acrobatics started just a few years back in 2009 in Bangkok, Thailand. The ongoing Artistic Gymnastics in Singapore from 10th to 18th June is the 10th edition of the tournament. Gymnastics is a sport which has seen out-and-out domination of the Chinese athletes. China has a whooping 148 medals cumulatively. Artistic Gymnastics is nothing different, and a majority of the medalists happen to be Chinese.
The Indian Medalists
Although there is stiff Chinese domination, there have been a few glimpses of brilliance from the Indian pool of talent as well. Let us look at some of them:
1) Ashish Kumar
Ashish Kumar is an Indian gymnast from Allahabad. He created history by winning India’s first-ever medal in gymnastics. He achieved this feat in the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Ashish became the most successful Indian gymnast in Commonwealth Games history. He added bronze and silver medals as well in his medal cabinet at different gymnastic events. Ashish also was the first winner of a medal at the Asian Artistic Championship. He won the bronze medal on the Floor Exercise, tied with Syrian gymnast Fadi Bahlawan. At the 2010 Commonwealth Games Ashish first won a bronze medal in the floor exercise. He added to this with a silver medal on vault, whereas the gold went to Luke Folwell of England and Ian Galvan of Canada took the bronze.
2) Dipa Karmakar
When the Rio Olympics was going on, a certain Olympian from India put the entire nation on the edge of their seats. She was Dipa Karmakar. Dipa is a is an Indian Gymnast from the state of Tripura. She is the first gymnast from India who competed in the Olympics. At the Rio Olympics, she lost an Olympic medal by just 0.15 points. She finished in the fourth position in the Women’s Vault Gymnastics event, with an overall score of 15.066. Due to her historic achievement at Rio Olympics, she became a well-known Gymnast as well as a face of gymnastics in India. In the final, she performed a difficult Prodonova vault and competed against the world’s top Gymnasts such as Simone Biles of the United States, Maria Paseka and Giulia Steingrubber, who won Gold, Silver and Bronze medals respectively.
Dipa first gained attention when she won a bronze medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, becoming the first Indian female gymnast to do so in the history of the Games. She also won a bronze medal at the Asian Gymnastics Championships and finished fifth at the 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships. Both the medals were the first medals for her country. Added to these performances, Dipa also won a Bronze medal at the Asian Artistic Gymnastics Championships which were held in Hiroshima.
3) Pranati Nayak
The third on the list of winners of this competition is Pranati Nayak. Pranati is the only participant from India who has won a medal back-to-back in this tournament. She is also the only female after Dipa Karmakar who won a medal in the championship. She represented India at the 2020 Summer Olympics and is only the second Indian female gymnast to qualify for the Olympic Games. Pranati is also the 2019 Indian all-around champion. She represented India at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and at the 2014 and 2018 Asian Games. She also competed at the 2014, 2017, and 2019 World Championships. In Singapore meet, she will be one of the important contenders who will be itching to improve her performance from Qatar 2022.
Who are the Indian Medalists at the Asian Artistic Gymnastics Championships?
Let us look at a few Indians who have done relatively well in the tournament over the years:
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