Rio de Janeiro, Aug 15 (IANS) Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakar missed out on a historic medal in the women’s vault competition by a whisker as she finished a creditable fourth in the final of the Olympic Games here.
Dipa averaged 15.066 points to finish fourth at the Rio Olympic Arena on Sunday.
Simone Biles of the US won the gold with an average of 15.966, while Maria Paseka (15.253) of Russia and Switzerland’s Giulia Steingrubber (15.216) took home the silver and bronze medals respectively.
Despite being disappointed at missing out on the medal, Dipa asserted that she is determined to train harder and do better at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
“I am happy to have come fourth. Next time when I come to Olympics, I will do better. Those who won in Vault ahead of me were better athletes,” she said.
“I was very happy with my performance but the medal slipped away at the last moment. Anyway, I hope my coming years would be very good. I will try that in the future our performance at the next Olympics would be good,” Dipa added.
Greeting all Indians on the eve of Independence Day, Dipa, who trains in her hometown of Agartala with coach Bisweshwar Nandi, asserted that she is happy with her performance.
“I had reached the highest score in the performance. I came fourth but my performance was good. I would like to thank my coach for this. We did all this without foreign training. No one can say Indian coaches cannot achieve,” she said.
“In gymnastics, reaching the finals is in itself great achievement, and I would like to thank all Indians who prayed for me and trusted me to reach this position,” she added.
“My message to the girls is that women are not behind in anything, and if they work hard, they will achieve the results, even if not immediately.”
Dipa scored a total of 14.8661 points with her first attempt which included 6.000 points for difficulty and 8.866 for execution.
The Tripura gymnast then attempted her renowned Produnova vault in her second attempt. Her run up and the spins in the air were perfect, but the landing saw her falter a bit which ultimately proved to be costly.
The judges awarded Dipa 7.000 points for difficulty and 8.266 for execution and the second attempt total of 15.266 saw her finish with an average of 15.066.
Dipa was at the second spot at that stage behind then leader Steingruber. But she was pushed to the third spot after Maria’s attempt which saw the Russian score 15.266 and 15.241 with her first and second attempts respectively.
The 23-year-old from Agartala soon drooped to the fourth position after Biles brilliant attempt and agonisingly missed out on a medal by 0.15 point margin.
Talking after the final, a heartbroken Nandi lamented that a less than perfect landing while attempting the Produnova vault had affected Dipa’s chances of finishing on the podium.
“She was amazing. I am happy with her performance. I think it was the deep landing on Produnova that must have cost her some points,” he said.
(Hardev Sanotra can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)