India will complete 75 years of Independence this year. Here is a series acknowledging 75 great sporting achievements by Indian athletes. Sportstar will present one iconic sporting achievement each day, leading up to August 15, 2022.
2010: Ashish Kumar gives India its first medals in gymnastics at Asian Games, CWG
Ashish Kumar is India's most decorated gymnast. He rose to fame by winning two medals (silver and bronze) at the Commonwealth Games and a bronze at the Asian Games in 2010.
India had never won a gymnastics medal in an event of such magnitude.
Ashish Kumar first made history by winning the men's floor exercise gymnastics bronze medal in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.
In the individual apparatus men's artistic competition, Ashish scored a 14.475 on the floor to finish at the third spot behind Australian Thomas Pichler (14.675) and Englishman Reiss Beckford (14.625).
He followed it up the next day with a silver medal in the men's individual vault.
In a strong field, the 19-year-old from Allahabad scored 15.312 points to end up behind Englishman Luke Folwell (15.762). The bronze went to Ian Galvan (15.037) of Canada.
“It was a gold missed than a silver gained but it has been a great experience,” said Ashish.
The very next month after his stupendous show at the Commonwealth Games, the Indian gymnast added another feather to his cap by winning the country's first-ever gymnastic medal, a bronze, in the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China.
Kumar tallied 14.92 points to take the bronze in a bitterly-fought contest in which China's Zhang Chenglong and Korea's Kim Soo Myun tied for the gold with identical 15.40 points
“I am very happy because it is the first gymnastics medal in the history of Indian gymnastics (at the Asian Games),” said the Allahabad-based gymnast, whose performance is even more praiseworthy considering that the team's foreign coach Vladimir Chertkov had deserted the squad before the commencement of the Games and returned to India.
From the highs of winning India's first-ever medals in CWG and Asian Games, the Indian gymnast is currently in a bitter fight with the federation, alleging partiality in selection trials for the upcoming Birmingham Commonwealth Games.
( Compilation based on articles from The Hindu )
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