Produnova can't be called a death vault: Karmakar

Produnova can't be called a death vault: Karmakar

Produnova can't be called a death vault: Karmakar

Experts may think it is the 'Vault of Death' but trailblazer Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakar doesn't agree and says she will continue performing the Produnova despite the dangers that come with the daredevil act.

Karmakar, who was the first Indian gymast to qualify for Olympics, exceeded expectations by entering the vault finals in Rio before finishing fourth to miss the medal by a whisker.

Popularly known as the 'Vault of Death', the best of gymnasts hesitate in attempting the Produnova but not Dipa. "I will continue doing the Produnova, not thinking of any other vault at the moment.I don't think it's a death vault, if we practice everything becomes easy, my coach made me practice," Dipa told PTI today after returning home to a rousing reception.

"Everything is risky, if you practice properly everything becomes easy. I made Dipa practice the vault a lot and thus the Produnova has become easy for her," coach
Bisweshwar Nandi, who stood alongside her protege, added.

Recalling her experience at the finals, Dipa animatedly discussed how people cheered for her because of the Produnova. "I became famous for my vault in the Olympics some called me 'Produnova Girl' others called me 'Dipa Produnova', a lot of people were cheering for me in the finals. I felt I made the right decision by choosing this vault."

Asserting that nothing has changed in her life, Karmakar is extremely proud that she brought gymnastics to limelight in India. "My life is still the same, I am still a gymnast, I still want to win a medal. But yes,I feel nice that because of me people got to know about gymnastic in India."

Elated that she has been recommended for the Khel Ratna, the 23 year old from Tripura would rather have her coach win the Dronacharya award. "My coach deserves the Dronacharya award more than me (getting Khel Ratna)," she said.

Coach Nandi, who has been nominated for Dronacharya, was all praise for his pupil as well claiming he always knew Dipa would qualify for the finals. "I am satisfied with Dipa's performance, had we won a medal I would have felt better but I'm happy."

Dipa went for the 'Tsukahara' in her first attempt in which she collected 14.866 points. She went for a difficulty level of 6 and got 8.855 for the execution.
Dipa also pointed out that to have competed at this level under her personal Indian coach Bishweshwar Nandi and without any foreign exposure was really a big achievement.

"Gymnastics is not that easy. We don't have a foreign coach, we were able to achieve this through my coach and the SAI's effort," said the gymnast who stands at four feet and 11 inches.

"We have not got any foreign training. We got only three months' to prepare for this. To have finished fourth competing against former Olympic champions is a creditable performance. I think it's a bigger achievement than even Simon Biles, she's consistently winning gold," she said.

"Many many thanks to my fellow Indians. I could achieve this only because of their prayers and best wishes," she added. On the comparison with Indian athletes like Milkha Singh and P T Usha who also had finished fourth, she said, "I feel I am very small, and I'm also much younger. The day I achieve a gold medal in Olympics for India, I would see myself in the same page like them."

"They are all great names. I'm nowhere close to them. I'm very small. I will just try my best to give a medal." Having missed bronze by a whisker would however earn her brickbats from her family members and coach Nandi, she admitted.

"Everyone else, like my parents and coach will be unhappy, their regret would have been much less had I finished fifth or sixth. 'But why fourth, and miss a medal, they would ask...'

Nandi said Dipa's landing could have been better."She went a bit deep while landing. If she landed with a perfect standing pose than a gold was there. First vault was however perfect."

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