India wins its first Commonwealth gymnastics medal | delhi | Hindustan Times
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India wins its first Commonwealth gymnastics medal

India today created history by bagging its first Commonwealth gymnastics medal with Ashish Kumar clinching the bronze medal in floor exercise category in the men's event. Special

delhi Updated: Oct 08, 2010 01:03 IST

India today created history by bagging its first Commonwealth gymnastics medal with Ashish Kumar clinching the bronze medal in floor exercise category in the men's event.

This is country's first medal since the beginning of Commonwealth Games in 1930 in Gymnastics, a sport in which India lagged way behind till today.

The crowd roared as the 19-year old lad scored an impressive 14.475 points to snatch the bronze medal. "I am very happy to win the bronze medal. It was a new experience for me," said the gymnast.

Australia's Thomas Pichler bagged the gold with 14.675 points and England's Reiss Beckford took the silver with 14.625 points. Kumar said he was nervous as he knew there had been no medals in gymnastics in the Games till now.

I was nervous. There was a pressure to win a medal anyway. I will try my best to win a gold medal in the vaults category tomorrow and make my country proud," he said.

In hindsight, Kumar says he missed the gold because of a mistake that he committed. "My hand touched the line during a role in second line of my event which cost me a penalty of 0.5 points. Or else, it was a gold for me."

The gymnast thanked his coaches and gave half the credit of his win to them. "The coaches had a large role to play. Our coaches Vladimir Chertkov, Ashok Mishra and Praveen Sharma had a huge role to play.

They gave us 18 months of their time and trained us. Half the credit of this win goes to them and rest to us," said Kumar. Indian team's Russian coach Vladimir Chertkov says gymnastics in India has a great future. "Indian gymnastics is on the rise. This (win) is just the beginning.

And it's is a good beginning. It does'nt matter what medal we got. All of it is hard work," said the Russian. He added, "One year is a short time. We did it in one year through extreme hard work.

Preparation has been fantastic." The coach said his team is aiming for being in top six in team competition and on top ten on individual all-around.

There are five gold medals to be won tomorrow. Kumar will be competing for gold medal in vaults category and India will get to compete in two more men's event, first in parallel bars and second in horizontal bar whereas the women will be contesting in beam and floor exercise.