Dipa Karmakar a daredevil, won’t do a Produnova like her: Rio champ Simone Biles

US multiple gold medal-winning gymnast Simone Biles hails India’s Dipa Karmakar for attempting the dangerous Produnova vault, but says it will never be part of her routines.

other sports Updated: Jan 20, 2017 10:52 IST
Sayan Ghosh
Sayan Ghosh
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Simone Biles,Dipa Karmakar,Produnova
US multiple gold medal-winning gymnast Simone Biles hails India’s Dipa Karmakar for attempting the dangerous Produnova vault, but says it will never be part of her routines. (AFP)

Simone Biles, the four-time Olympic champion who beat India’s Dipa Karmakar to win the women’s vault gold medal at the Rio Olympics last year, is pretty certain that she will not be attempting the dangerous Produnova routine.

The 19-year old American gymnast applauded Dipa Karmakar for the courage with which she pulls off the move but conceded it is be not something she will try to match.

In a chat with HT, Simone Biles said, “I think certain people are good at certain things and they should do what works for them. Honestly. I don’t think that I will ever try to pull off the Produnova.”

READ | Simone Biles, gymnast who beat Dipa Karmakar, to sizzle on SI Swimsuit issue

The Produnova, nicknamed the ‘vault of death’, is considered one of the most dangerous moves as it involves a front handsprint and double forward somersault and can lead to serious neck injury or even death unless executed precisely. However, it helps get more points from the judges considering its difficulty.

The vault named after the 1990s Russian champion Elena Produnova became a household name in India ahead of the Rio Olympics and gained headlines worldwide during the Brazil Games after Dipa Karmakar stuck to the difficult routine.

Simone Biles performs on the balance beam during the artistic gymnastics women's team final at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (AP)

Simone Biles was all praise for Dipa Karmakar’s contribution to the sport and said she has achieved so much despite coming from a country which is not known for gymnastics.

“I did not talk to her much in Rio, but what she has done for the sport in her native country is nothing less than phenomenal. She is a true inspiration for upcoming gymnasts and it is always a great sight for all of us when someone becomes a symbol for the sport in the eyes of so many people.”

Simone Biles, inarguably the most dominant gymnast in the world right now, has already won 10 gold medals at the World Championships. She created history last year by claiming four gold medals and a bronze at the Rio Olympics, setting an American record for most gold medals in women’s gymnastics at a single Olympics.

READ | Simone Biles a leading contender for Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award

It was also the first instance of a quadruple gold medallist in women’s gymnastics at a single Games since Ecaterina Szabo of Romania in 1984. Simone Biles’s achievements have made her one of the best known athletes in the world and she is a leading contender for the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award.

Asked how she felt after her record-shattering performance in Rio, Biles said: “I always knew I had the potential. But our performance at Rio was beyond our wildest dreams and those moments will always have a special place in my heart.”

However, it was not all smooth sailing as she was at the centre of a doping controversy last September when Russian hackers Fancy Bears accused her of using her Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) medication to unfair advantage. But she was backed by the International Federation of Gymnasts.

Asked about the controversy, she wasn’t afraid to speak her mind.“I have ADHD and the medications are my necessity. I have not broken any rules and I am not going to let anyone shame me for taking them.”

Simone Biles believes she must stay focused if she wants to continue her brilliant run of form. “I need to put Rio in the past and stay focused and determined if I want to repeat the kind of performances in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.”

First Published: Jan 19, 2017 22:27 IST