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Girl With An Extraordinary Talent: Dipa Karmakar, The First Indian Gymnast To Make History In Rio

Dipa Karmakar in Olympic 2016

When India’s hope in Olympics give only bad news, in that hopeless moment country’s first gymnast Dipa Karmakar made history. She became the first athlete to reach in individual vault finals in her first appearance in Rio Olympics.

Dipa Karmakar had managed her eighth position in deadly ‘Produnova’ vault with 14.850 points after two attempts. She scored 14.850 on the vault, 11.666 on the uneven bars in balance beam and 12.033 in floor exercises. After that she was sixth in vaults and overall 27th. She had to undergo a wait for nervous 5 hours for the other two sub-divisions to finish. The top eight qualify for the final.

When Simone Biles of the US scored 16.050 in the vault event Dipa dropped from her place to seventh. She felled to eighth when Canada’s Shallon Olsen got 14.950 on the vault.

However, she finally managed her spot to compete on Sunday’s final.

Why ‘Produnova’ vault is so deadly?

Produnova vault is also called vault of death. The name of the vault is named after Yelena Produnova who completed it first time in 1999. It is considered the most dangerous vault in Women’s artistic gymnastics.

When a gymnast tries this vault she first does a front spring with her hands, then completes two somersaults in flight and tries to land on her feet.

This is dangerous because the impact on the body while landing is double due to the acceleration generated due to the somersaults. So a gymnast has to have strong legs to land on her feet.

If someone is landing on the back or the neck then the chances are high for paralysis or instant death. In fact, due to the high level of risk there are calls to ban it.

Dipa’s landing is called a ‘butt grazer’ as she almost sat down while landing and then swiftly standing up. But her Produnova vault is much better than comparing to recent athletes who have tried it.

Dipa’s other achievements

Dipa Karmakar competed in the 2011 National Games and got 5 five gold medals in vault, floor, balance beams, uneven bars and all around.

At the 2014 Commonwealth Games she won a bronze medal.

In 2014 Asian Games, Karmakar finished 4th spot with the score of 14.200.

In October 2015, she was the first ever Indian to qualify for the final of the 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships where she scored 14.900. She qualified for the final round where Karmakar finished 5th with 14.683.

Dipa Karmakar is the first ever Indian gymnast who qualifies for the 2016 Olympics in 52 years and first one who qualifies for the final. She risked her life for the nation, for the glory. We just pray she will bring a medal on 14th August final.

Suchismita Biswas
Suchismita Biswas

Pen is mightier than swords – these words make me passionate about writing. Except writing I love to travel , love to explore the unknown places, love photography and love listening to music. Also I am an avid reader of books. I’m a simple girl but I am what I am.

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