India’s History in Gymnastics at Asian Games

Asian Games

The inaugural Asian Games occurred in New Delhi from March 4th to 11th in 1951, and it was initially planned for 1950. India’s first President, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, officially opened the Games at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi. Gymnastics debuted in the 7th edition of the Asian Games in Tehran, Iran, in 1974. Gymnastics has been a consistent fixture in every subsequent Asian Games since 1978.

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India’s First Gymnast at the Asian Games in 1978

India’s gymnast, B. S. Nandi, marked India’s first entry into gymnastics in the VIII Asian Games hosted in Bangkok, Thailand 1978. Mr. Dalip Singh played the coach role, accompanying B. S. Nandi during the VIII Asian Games held in Bangkok.

Indian Gymnastics Teams at IX Edition of Asian Games in New Delhi 1982

The IX Asian Games, held in New Delhi from November 19th to December 4th, 1982, saw the participation of both the Indian Men’s and Women’s Gymnastics teams. The Men’s team included Balram Shil, D. D. Chaudhary, Bijin Saha, B. S. Nandi, Sharanjit Singh, Sadhu Saini, Kewal Krishan, and Shambhu Nath Saha. 

Meanwhile, the Women’s team featured talents like Sanjivini Karandikar, Jayshree Bapat, Anju Rani Dey, Savita Joshi, Shikha Barua, Sunita Sharma, Jyotsna Das, and Mukta Bhide.

Guiding the Men’s team were coaches Mr. Dieter Struck (Germany) and Mr. Mantu Debnath, while the Women’s team was under the mentorship of Mr. M. D. Gurjar and Ms. Satya Siddhu. Mr. Fakir Bhai Patel was overseeing the Gymnastics contingent who held the position of Head.

Indian Men’s Gymnastics Team at X Asian Games in Seoul 1986

At the X Asian Games, which took place in Seoul, South Korea, from September 20th to October 5th, 1986, the Indian Men’s Gymnastics team demonstrated their talents. The team comprised skilled gymnasts Balram Shil, D. D. Chaudhary, Shekhar Vector, Ratan Debnath, Tapas Deb, Anjan Das, and Sharanjit Singh. The team’s coach, Mr. G. S. Bawa, and manager, Mr. P. K. Nandi, provided guidance.

India’s Absence in Gymnastic Sports in Following Asian Games

India did not participate in the XI Asian Games held in Beijing, China, 1990. Also, India didn’t participate in the XII Asian Games in Hiroshima, Japan, in 1994, the XIII Asian Games in Bangkok, Thailand, in 1998, and the XIV Asian Games in Pusan, South Korea in 2002.

India’s Men’s Gymnastics Team at XV Asian Games 2006

India’s exclusive Men’s Gymnastics team, composed of Ashish Kumar, Deepesh Sahoo, Mayank Srivastava, Vivek Mishra, Rohit Jaiswal, and Raja Roy, took part in the XV Asian Games hosted in Doha, Qatar, from December 1st to 15th, 2006. 

Indian Medalist in Gymnastics at the Asian Games 2010

The XVI Asian Games, held in Guangzhou, China, from November 12th to 27th, 2010, witnessed the participation of India’s Men’s Artistic Gymnastics team. The team featured players Ashish Kumar, M. Shinoj, Mayank Srivastava, Rakesh Kumar Patra, Devesh Kumar, and Alok Ranjan.

In the Men’s Artistic Gymnastics team championship, China secured the gold medal with a score of 368.500, while Japan claimed silver with 357.500 points and Korea took the bronze with 352.950 points.

India garnered a total of 315.350 points, securing the 10th position. The spotlight, however, was on 20-year-old gymnast Ashish Kumar, who had gained recognition during the XIX Commonwealth Games in October 2010 by earning a silver in Table Vault and a bronze in floor exercises.

Ashish Kumar made history for India in gymnastics by clinching the nation’s first-ever bronze medal in Asian Games gymnastics in Guangzhou, China. Ashish Kumar, the pioneer Indian gymnast, etched his name in Asian Games history by securing a bronze medal in the floor exercise event. It is the only medal India received in Gymnastics. Apart from this, India’s tally of medals seems empty.

India’s Appearance in Gymnastics at the 2014 and 2018 Asian Games

In the subsequent editions of 2014 and 2018, India didn’t earn the medals in gymnastics, mirroring the previous occurrences. Throughout this period, China continued its dominant performance, clinching the majority of the medals available.

In the 2014 Asian Games, China emerged as the top-performing nation in gymnastics, securing an impressive haul of 9 gold, seven silver, and three bronze medals, totaling 19 overall. In the 2018 Asian Games, China once again dominated the gymnastics events, claiming the leading position with an outstanding collection of 10 gold, six silver, and seven bronze medals, amounting to a total of 23 medals.