Aruna Budda Reddy on Saturday created history by becoming the first Indian gymnast to win an individual medal at the Gymnastics World Cup as she clinched a bronze in the women’s vault event.
The 22-year-old Reddy, who hails from Hyderabad, scored 13.649 average points to win the bronze at the Hisense Arena.
Tjasa Kysslef of Slovania won the gold with a score of 13.800 while Emily Whitehead of Australia took the silver with 13.699.
Another Indian in the final round, Pranati Nayak finished sixth with a score of 13.416. The sport of gymnastics has a series of World Cup events in a year and they are second in importance after the World Championships.
“Aruna is now the first and the only Indian to have won a medal in the World Cup and we are proud of her,” Shantikumar Singh, secretary of a faction of Gymnastics Federation of India, told PTI.
Dipa Karmakar, who finished fourth in the 2016 Rio Olympics in women’s vault event, has won a bronze each in the Asian Championships and 2014 Commonwealth Games but not at the level of a World Cup.
Medal for one, belief for millions!
Put your hands together for India's first Gymnast to win an individual medal in the #GymnasticsWorldCup at Melbourne.
— Rajyavardhan Rathore (@Ra_THORe) February 25, 2018
This was Aruna’s first international medal though she has taken part in the 2013 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, 2014 Commonwealth Games, 2014 Asian Games and the 2017 Asian Championships.
Her previous best international performance was the sixth place finish at the 2017 Asian Championships vault event
India's first Gymnast to win an individual medal in the #GymnasticsWorldCup at Melbourne
Watch stunning moments of this rising Indian Star Aruna Budda Reddy pic.twitter.com/ji7LiBKiQY
— Kapil Mishra (@KapilMishra_IND) February 25, 2018
In all the other international events, she could not go beyond the qualification stage.
Aruna will also contest in the final round of the floor event tomorrow. In other events, Rakesh Patra finished fourth in the men’s rings event. He is still in the fray for the final round of the parallel bars on Sunday.
The 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games and 2014 Asian Games bronze medallist Ashish Kumar will also feature in the men’s vault event final round on Sunday after he finished sixth in the qualifying round.
Sixteen countries are featuring in the World Cup series event this year across two days of qualification with the athletes of top eight teams on each apparatus heading to the finals.