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I’ve made my mark at the Olympics, says gymnastics judge Deepak Kabra

Deepak Kabra.   | Photo Credit: Satish Kumar P@Chennai

Deepak Kabra is living his dream at the Tokyo Olympics, but lack of flights to the Japanese capital due to the COVID-19 pandemic nearly robbed him of the chance of becoming the first Indian gymnastics official at the Games.

At 33, he is the second-youngest judge here and is officiating in the men’s gymnastics events. A category-two judge, he arrived here just in time for the Games.

“Four of the flights I had booked got cancelled and all the other judges had come here four days before me. I’d say it was special to just be able to reach in time and judge my event. I am quite relieved after judging one event. I’ve made my mark at the Olympics!,” said Kabra.

A former gymnast, Kabra decided to pursue a career as a technical judge at 21.

Late start

“I started gymnastics very late. Simone Biles began gymnastics at the age of six and people say she was late – others normally start at four. I began when I was 12!

My fundamentals were not great and I knew I wouldn’t go far as a gymnast. So I decided to pursue a role as a judge at 21.

Kabra began his international career at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and has officiated in 20 global events including the Youth Olympics, World Championships and the Asian Games.

“A gymnast’s total score is based on the level of difficulty they attempt and its execution. The difficulty level is based on the move performed by the gymnast and execution is how they perform it.

Strike a balance

“You need to balance both to achieve the highest final score and get a better ranking.”

Having worked in legal portfolio management and corporate finance at Reliance Industries for eight years, he made the full-time switch to sports to join Reliance Foundation Youth Sports. He now aims to upskill himself to a category-1 judge.

“No judge from India has ever done that. Only the top 25 judges in the world are given category-1 certification. That’s where I want to be.”

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Printable version | Sep 29, 2021 5:31:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/ive-made-my-mark-at-the-olympics-says-gymnastics-judge-deepak-kabra/article35548363.ece

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