Dipa Karmakar : The Indian girl who vaulted to win a billion hearts

Dipa Karmakar finishes 4th, makes India proud


Its 9 days into the Rio Olympics and now finally we have a moment of pride. Something to cherish and feel proud of. The hyped Dipa Karmakar gave a great boost on a relatively very sad day for India.

The Indian gymnast has hit the news and was raised to the top by the media after her mastery made her the first Indian to make it to the Gymnastics final and interestingly the first time the nation being represented in this event.

Dipa Karmakar, who is well known for her success in landing the most deadly Produnova, which only 3 people in the world are capable of successful execution. And this Indian youngster stays even more special than the other two for repeated success in the tripe spin move where there is always a very high risk of spine and the collar bone breakage to due to excess load during land. It also has a risk of landing a fault vault as the lower body of the gymnast goes to the lowest point on landing after the multiple spins with separated legs.

This young lady faced a lot of problems early on in a country where sports other than Cricket are literally not encouraged to the complete potentia. Shel had to practice on equipment made using old scooter parts. She went on to struggle against all odds and finally made it to the Olympics. She was also honored with the tag of “World Class Gymnast” by the world body.

Dipa Karmakar had vaulted an average of 14.850 to end up at 7th and qualified for the finals. She failed to make it to the finals of all other categories like uneven bars, beam, floor exercise and individual all round. This made news as the debutant made it to the finals.

What happened in the finals was something to be inscribed in history. Indians were pressed to below earth with Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna missing out on the Bronze and Saina Nehwal crashing out in the group stage itself. Their grievances increased as the men’s hockey team also lost to Belgium 3-1 after an early lead of 0-1 which came off Akashdeep’s strike. With all these results leaving the sports lovers stranded, all eyes were on the young Dipa who sprung to the situation. Vaulting 7th in the competition she recorded a vault of 14.866 in her first vault which literally looked way below her potential. And then came the time for her second and defining last vault.

The screen showed up a difficulty of 7.00 and there was the roar in the whole of the arena. Produnova it is. Dipa warmed up under immense pressure and crowd support. She flung in the air took jump from the table and there were 1…2….3 spins in the air and a perfect land. She was sure of a perfect finish. But what was that? the judges doubt of a butt landing. there was silence around the arena for the next few minutes as the judges were reviewing the best vault seen so far in the series. Once it was declared perfect, it was a festival atmosphere all around, as history was scripted with Dipa landing her 5th Produnova and making a score of 15.266, averaging to 15.066. She was third. And Indians were hoping a medal just to be pushed to fourth after two completely dominating vaults from Simone Biles of USA (15.900,16.200) to claim her third Gold at Rio.

The Indian sensation just missed on a medal as Giulia Stengruber of Switzerland pulled off the Bronze with a scored of 15.216, 0.150 more than the Indian. Dipa’s Produnova with the whole world watching her is undoubtedly very special for the nation’s sports future. This opens scope for a lot of other sports and basically women in the sports arena to flourish and draw inspiration. Her efforts have paid off in a qualitative way even though she missed on a medal.

Dipa Karmakar vaults to win a Billion hearts! All Hail the young lady!

Thank you very much for giving the nation such a wonderful gift in the early hours of our 70th Independence day and planting a sapling of motivation in every young aspiring Indian sportsperson

Photo by Adam Jones, Ph.D. – Global Photo Archive