Telangana's Budda Aruna Reddy rewrote history when she became the first Indian gymnast to win a medal in the Gymnastics World Cup at Hisense Arena in Melbourne on Saturday. Emily Whitehead (AUS) 13.69, 3. Interestingly, neither of the gold and silver medal-winning gymnasts had even qualified for the Rio Olympics and that Aruna's score (13.649) is below what Dipa had managed at the Games (15.066). The gold medal in the event was won by Slovenia's Tjasa Kysslef with a score of 13.8. Meanwhile, Pranati Nayak, the second Indian in the fray, finished sixth with an aggregate score of 13.416 after two attempts.
The 22-year-old finished third with an average score of 13.699 following her two attempts in the women's vault event. In the Vault apparatus at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, she had finished on the 14th spot in the qualification round.
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Aruna garnered 4.600 points in the hard exercise and 9.066 in the execution in the first round. She had bagged a medal in 2005 which motivated her to take up gymnastics as a sport. In all the other worldwide events, she could not go beyond the qualification stage. Her previous best finish had been sixth in the vault event at the 2017 Asian Championships.
Aruna will also contest in the final round of the floor event tomorrow.
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Rakesh Patra finished fourth in the men's rings event.
Aruna is the third Indian gymnast after Ashish Kumar and Dipa Karmakar, who won bronze medals in the 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games respectively, to win a medal in competitions organised by the global gymnastics federation (FIG). It was Ashish Kumar back in 2010 who made a mark for Indian gymnastics by clinching the country's first-ever gymnastics medal - a bronze - at the Commonwealth Games.
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