Asian Games 2023: India’s Squad of Gymnastics

Asian Games

In a significant development for Indian gymnastics, the nine-member squad for the Asian Games 2023 in Hangzhou, China, has been announced by the Gymnastics Federation of India. The team, comprising five men and four women, was unveiled after a rigorous selection process at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. This announcement carries added significance as it marks the return of Olympian Dipa Karmakar to competitive gymnastics following a 21-month doping ban.

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Dipa Karmakar, at 29 years of age, demonstrated her resilience and prowess by topping the selection trials with an impressive all-round score of 47.05. Her journey back to the sport after a prolonged absence is indeed commendable and speaks to her dedication. Despite facing slight discomfort in her right knee, her coach, Bishweshwar Nandi, expressed confidence that Dipa would continue to improve as she regains her top form, saying, “She still is not at her best, but there is time, and I am sure she will only get better from here on.”

Pranati Das secured the second spot in the trials with a score of 45.80, showcasing the depth of talent in the Indian gymnastics contingent. Protistha Samanta earned her place in the team by finishing third in the vault event. Meanwhile, Tokyo Olympian Pranati Nayak secured her spot based on her impressive performance at the Asian Championships 2023 in Singapore, where she scored 44.43.

In the men’s senior individual category, Haryana’s Yogeshwar Singh emerged as the top performer with a score of 76.30, followed closely by Odisha’s Rakesh Patra (76.20) and Tapan Mohanty (74.60). Interestingly, Yogeshwar Singh’s selection was based on his performance at the Asian Championships, as he did not participate in the trials.

One gymnast to watch is Satyajit Mondal, who despite suffering an injury during the vault section of the trials, was selected for the team. His final inclusion will depend on his fitness level ahead of the Asian Games. Anas Ali Shaikh has been named as the reserve athlete for Mondal, underscoring the depth of talent in the Indian gymnastics reserve pool.

It’s worth noting that India’s historical success in gymnastics at the Asian Games has been relatively modest, with only one medal to their name – Ashish Kumar’s bronze in the floor exercise at the 2010 Guangzhou Games. This year, Ashish Kumar took part in the selection trials but narrowly missed securing a spot in the team.

Indian gymnastics team for the Asian Games 2023 is a significant moment for the sport in the country. With a mix of experienced athletes like Dipa Karmakar and promising talents across both the men’s and women’s categories, India will be aiming to improve its medal tally and make its presence felt on the international gymnastics stage at the upcoming Asian Games in Hangzhou.