Dipa Karmakar, who became a poster girl for Indian sports after sealing an Olympics berth for herself in artistic gymnastics this week, has mentioned that her mentor has been the wind beneath her wings, throughout her career. The 22-year-old Tripura girl made history as she became the only Indian woman gymnast to achieve the milestone.
Dipa won the gold medal in the vault competition in an Olympics qualifying event in Rio de Janeiro with a total score of 52.698 points and successfully book her place in the 2016 Rio Olympics, scheduled for August.
An Indian gymnast has also, in the process, qualified for the mega quadrennial sporting event after 52 long years.
"It was very difficult but I have got a great mentor because of whom, I am here," Dipa was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India. "Without him nobody would have known my name.
"To achieve something, you have to take risk. I am thankful that special arrangements were made at the IG Stadium where I practiced and learnt Produnova vault. Otherwise it would have been impossible, so I am thankful to the Sports Authority of India," she added.
Hoping to create another record, Dipa has asked her well-wishers and supporters to bless her and pray for her so that she can reach the milestone. "I will put every effort to ensure that I keep creating history. My target was to qualify at any cost and I am happy that I have achieved my target," she said.
"I need all the blessing to create history," the 22-year-old added to NDTV.
Meanwhile, the International Federation of Gymnastics (FIG) has also saluted Dipa for achieving the feat. "I am delighted to see India qualify a female gymnast to the Olympic Games. We hope that her achievement will inspire others," FIG President Bruno Grandi told Firstpost.
"It has been the objective of my mission as FIG President to increase the number of countries represented at the Olympic Games as well as the number of countries that have the ability to win medals. I am very pleased that Gymnastics has become more and more universal during the past years. I commend the Gymnastics Federation of India and the Indian Olympic Association."