Odisha: Artistic gymnastics selections for Asian Games 2023 conclude in State Capital

Bhubaneswar: Artistic Gymnastics Selection Trials for Asian Games 2023 culminated on Wednesday at the Gymnastics Centre in Kalinga Stadium of Bhubaneswar.

The event, organised by the Gymnastics Federation of India in association with the Sports and Youth Services Department, Odisha, saw the finest gymnasts from across India vying to establish their place as part of the core group of Indian Gymnastics team ahead of the mega sports event.

In the Men’s Senior Individual category, Yogeshwar Singh from Haryana, Odisha’s Rakesh Patra and Tapan Mohanty bagged the top three spots while the Women’s Senior Individual Category saw Dipa Karmakar in the first place, followed by Pranati Das and Pranati Nayak in second and third, respectively.

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One of the favorites heading into the contest, Dipa Karmakar was the stand-out performer in her category. On her performance, she said, “I have given my best here and I am looking forward to getting better from here. I am always committed to giving a hundred per cent.”

Dipa Karmakar further opined that many gymnasts are likely to emerge from Odisha due to the State’s commitment towards the sport. “The standard of the High-Performance Centre is very good, and there are three more across Odisha, which will surely help athletes, grow,” Karmakar stated.

Speaking on Dipa Karmakar’s performance, ace Indian gymnastics coach, Bishweshwar Nandi said, “It is not easy to come back after injury and perform so well. We had to be cautious with our approach, but we are very pleased with the result.”

Coach Nandi also praised the facilities at the gymnastics Centre and appreciated the initiative of Odisha to promote the sport of Gymnastics.

Speaking on his performance and securing his place in the Indian contingent, which is to compete in the Asian Games 2023, Tapan Mohanty said, “This was my first time giving trials for the Asian Games, the competition was full of top quality athletes. It feels truly special to be selected to represent India and I hope I can make India and Odisha proud.”

On his experience as an Odisha AM/NS Gymnastics High-Performance Centre cadet, he said, “I would not be able to achieve this without the support system we have. I have worked very hard and my coaches have also worked very hard to prepare me. The facilities, I believe, are better than many International facilities. Furthermore, I have been able to work with other athletes who train here on improving my skills and they have also been very supportive.”

The successful conclusion of Artistic Gymnastics Selection Trials is another testament towards the state of Odisha’s efforts toward strengthening competitive gymnastics in Odisha. The State has partnered with AM/NS to establish the High-Performance Centre in Bhubaneswar along with academies in Puri, Jeypore and Rourkela to develop the discipline at a grassroots level.

Chief coach of the State’s High-Performance Centre, Ashok Kumar Mishra said that the event was a great platform for gymnasts across India to showcase their talents. “The event saw numerous impressive performances and I would like to extend my gratitude to Gymnastics Federation of India and Sports and Youth Services Department, Odisha for organising this tournament,” he added.

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