Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakar, who lost out on a historic medal in the women’s vault by a whisker on Sunday, said she was heartbroken but determined to do better at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Dipa averaged 15.066 points to finish fourth at the Rio Olympics 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.
“I think my performance was fine as I executed everything my training taught me and I am very happy about that. But I’m heartbroken that I could not win a medal,” the 23-year-old said. “But I will keep trying for the future”.
Dipa missed out on a medal by 0.150 points despite successfully executing the dangerous Produnova vault in her second attempt to secure a remarkable 15.066 points overall.
Saying sports was all about winning and losing, Dipa said she wished she could have put in more effort into her training.
“I was confident about executing the Produnova. My target was to floor both the vaults perfectly. This time I came prepared for a silver or a bronze and I came fourth. Next time I will eye the gold and maybe I will bag the silver or the bronze. I’m indebted to the nation for their support,” she said.
The first Indian vaulter and woman gymnast to qualify for Olympics, Dipa altered her routine for the final. She opened with the Tsukahara vault.
“I am happy to have come fourth. Next time when I come to Olympics, I will do better. Those who won in the vault ahead of me were better athletes,” she said.
Dipa credited her coach Bisweshwar Nandi for her success. “I had reached the highest score in the performance… 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.
Talking after the final, Nandi said a less than perfect landing while attempting the Produnova 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.
Her father Dulal Karmakar said a manager would have helped the team. Reports said Nandi had alleged they couldn’t appeal against the result as they didn’t have a manager.
“A manager is absolutely needed in such big events because a coach cannot do everything alone,” Karmakar said.
The gymnast, who turned 23 on August 9, was more circumspect. She said sports was all about winning and losing.
“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.”
She thanked Indians for their support and prayers and sent her greetings for the Independence Day.