Pranati Nayak will be the only Indian gymnast at Tokyo Olympics 2020. Having qualified through the continental quota, the Olympic debutante will carry the legacy of Dipa Karmakar ahead. In 2016, Dipa Karmakar became the first Indian female gymnast ever to compete in the Olympics. With Dipa missing out on a berth to Tokyo, Pranati will have heavy expectations on her shoulders.
Here are 5 things you probably did not know about Pranati Nayak
#1. Pranati Nayak is a bronze medalist at the Asian Artistic Gymnastics Championships
At the 2019 Asian Artistic Gymnastics Championships held in Mongolia, Pranati Nayak claimed a bronze medal in the women's vault. It was India's only medal from the event.
#2. Pranati Nayak has humble beginnings
Pranati Nayak hails from Paschim Medinipur, West Bengal. She had to struggle to get to the top. Her father was a state transport bus driver in West Bengal until 2017. At times, she had to travel 4 hours by bus to Kolkata for her training. She had to support her father with her elder sister's wedding. Pranati always wanted to build a house for her family, a dream she has finally achieved.
#3. Pranati Nayak is proficient in all four women's events of gymnastics
Women in gymnastics compete in four events - Vault, Uneven Bars, Balance Beam, and Floor Exercise. Pranati Nayak has mastered all four.
#4. Pranati Nayak is a great dancer too
Pranati Nayak is an accomplished dancer who uses her spare time to hone her dancing skills. In fact, for qualification in Floor Exercise at the 49th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Stuttgart, Pranati Nayak choreographed her moves to the title music of 'Ek Tha Tiger'.
#5. Pranati Nayak was rejected by coaches as a child
As a child, Pranati Nayak was rejected by the coaches of the Sports Authority of India's Kolkata facility. The coaches deemed her underweight and 'too thin' to pursue gymnastics, as this meant she could fall down and injure herself. She was denied a place in the SAI hostel as well.