Dipa Karmakar may have missed the medal by a whisker at the Rio Olympics, but her performance has put gymnastics in the spot light in India.
Karmakar won hearts with her successful attempts to perform the dangerous Produnova vault at Rio Games. However, India’s teen gymnast sensation was floored when the legendary Nadia Comaneci lauded Karmakar’s fourth-place finish at Rio and also gave her some tips on improving the Produnova.
“She (Nadia) gave recognition to gymnastics across the globe. She had made it 10 out of 10 in the 1976 Montreal Olympics. For all of us in gymnastics, Nadia is God. And I got a chance to sit and talk to her. She suggested that if I do certain changes in my Produnova vault, it will be better. She made good comments and I was overwhelmed to interact with her,” Karmakar was quoted as saying in the media here on Monday.
Comaneci became the first gymnast in the history of the Olympics to achieve a perfect score of 10.0 at the 1976 Montreal Games.
Comaneci said Karmakar needs to just work on finer details in her vaults. “The impact Dipa has made is big. It is amazing for the young generation of girls, and for parents who have girls. They watch Dipa and they see an opportunity that their kids can to do gymnastics as well. She is motivating and influencing a lot of young Indians. She has proved that you don’t have to be born in Romania or the US to make an impact here in gymnastics.
“She was really nice to talk to, and something interesting happened during our conversation. We were watching her Rio Olympics vault together and I was asked to make some comments on areas she needs to improve, and I said I like to hear from her on what she needs to improve on and she talked about the same things that I was thinking about.
“I told her that she has another vault to do (apart from Produnova) which she needs to improve and make it perfect so that judges cannot have deduction on that one. I feel her vault is 80-90 percent there, she just needs to work on the details, like how to put your feet while landing, and we talked about speed and all the gymnastics techniques that I still remember,” the Romanian, now settled in the USA, was quoted as saying by the Times of India.