Gymnast Dipa Karmakar creates history, enters finals

RSTV Bureau

Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakar has made history as she made it to the finals of the individual vault event in Rio. She became the first Indian to make it to any gymnastic finals event in Olympics.

The Tripura-girl, who is also the country’s first woman gymnast to qualify for the Olympics, managed to perform her much-appreciated ‘Produnova’ vault cleanly to secure 14.850 points after two attempts. Even though she finished 8th in the qualifying round, it was enough for her to secure a place in the finals as the top-8 made the cut for the medal round. The finals are scheduled to take place on August 14.

“I’m happy but wish I could have done a bit better. In practice, I perform way better than this,” Dipa said after making the making the cut by a whisker.

Dipa secured 7.000 on difficulty and 8.1 on execution in her first attempt. Her score for difficulty was a tad lower at 6.000 in the second attempt.

She landed low on her Produnova vault in the first attempt, while her second vault was a ‘Tsuk double full twist’ with step to the side.

Ahead of her event, Dipa received a big boost when she was wished luck by none other than three-time world champion Simone Biles of the US.

Rio de Janeiro : Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakar speaks with a team member during a practice session ahead of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016. AP/PTI

Rio de Janeiro : Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakar speaks with a team member during a practice session ahead of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016. AP/PTI

The 19-year-old star American, who has a record 10 World Championship gold medals in her kitty came up to Dipa to wish her “luck”.

“Simon Biles came up to me and wished me luck to do well in Produnova. She is like a star to me and difficult to think of standing beside her. I’m so overwhelmed,” an excited Dipa said.

Biles eventually topped the charts with a sensational score of 16.050. The American scored a brilliant 9.700 on execution in both her attempts.

North Korea’s Jong Un Hong was a distant second after securing 15.683 followed by Switzerland’s Giulia Steingruber (15.266).

Wishes poured in for Dipa after she qualified for the finals. From politicians to celebrities, everyone took to twitter to congratulate her to on her feat.

(With inputs from agencies)