Deepak Kabra to become first Indian gymnastics judge at Olympics

The men’s artistic gymnastics will be officiated by Deepak Kabra at the Tokyo Olympics.

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Deepak Kabra has become the first Indian selected for judging the gymnastics competition at the Olympic Games, a lifelong goal for someone whose weak fundamentals would have prevented him from reaching the Olympics as an active gymnast. Additionally, Deepak Kabra has officiated at the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games in 2018, the Youth Olympics in Argentina, and other international tournaments like the World Cups.

During the Tokyo Games, which get underway on July 23, Kabra will officiate the men’s artistic gymnastics. “I had got the invitation in March last year but then the Olympics got postponed and what followed was a nervous wait for more than a year,” Kabra told PTI.

“I got confirmation again in April but with the COVID-19 pandemic still raging there was still uncertainty whether Olympics will actually happen. But I am happy that at last, I will be able to live my Olympic dream.”

Maharastra’s 33-year-old athlete took up the sport quite late and soon realized his foundation was not strong enough to make it big as an athlete. Having officiated at the Commonwealth Games in India in 2010, Kabra went on to become the first Indian judge to officiate at the Asian Games in 2014 and subsequently the Youth Olympics. Kabra was appointed as a member of the Asian Gymnastics Union’s technical committee in 2018.

In Tokyo, Pranati Nayak will represent Indian gymnastics, who claimed a bronze medal on vault at the Asian Artistic Gymnastics in 2019. With a fourth-place finish in the women’s vault final at the Rio Olympics, Deepa Karmakar continues to be India’s leading gymnast.