Gymnast Dipa Karmakar Becomes 1st Indian To Qualify For Vault Finals

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Rio de Janeiro: Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakar scripted history as she became the first Indian to make the cut for the individual vault finals in her debut Olympics after finishing 8th in the qualifying round here.

The Tripura-girl, who is also India’s first woman gymnast to qualify for the Olympics, managed to perform her much-appreciated ‘Produnova’ vault cleanly to secure 14.850 points after two attempts.

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It was a nervous wait for the Indian after that. She had ended sixth after the third of five sub-divisions. She dropped to eighth eventually when Canadian Shallon Olsen’s terrific effort of 14.950 rejigged the overall standings.

Finals on August 14

But that was just about enough to secure her a place in the finals scheduled for August 14 as the top-eight made the cut for the medal round.

Dipa secured 7.000 on difficulty and 8.1 on execution in her first attempt. Her score for difficulty was a tad lower at 6.000 in the second attempt.

She landed low on her Produnova vault in the first attempt, while her second vault was a ‘Tsuk double full twist’ with step to the side.

Three-time world all-round champion Simone Biles topped the charts with a sensational score of 16.050. The American scored a brilliant 9.700 on execution in both her attempts.

North Korea’s Jong Un Hong was a distant second after securing 15.683 followed by Switzerland’s Giulia Steingruber (15.266).

Decent on execution

In the other routines, Dipa secured 11.666 for her effort on the uneven bars, scoring low on difficulty but decent on execution. Later, Dipa scored 12.866 for her performance on the balance beam.

The floor exercise fetched Dipa a score of 12.033, which also included a 0.300 penalty.

Dipa, the first Indian woman gymnast to win a Commonwealth Games medal, stood a poor 47th in the all-round standings with a combined score of 51.665.

The eight gymnasts with the highest individual scores in each apparatus move on to compete for an individual event title in that apparatus.

The 24 men and 24 women with the highest combined individual totals move on to the all-around finals.

‘Amazing achievement’

“As the Produnova vault was the first thing I attempted today and it did not go as expected, it immediately put me in a bad mood,” Karmakar said.

“It wasn’t very good. I was hoping for a better score from the first vault and because it was low, I was really disappointed. My landing had been better in training. My hip touched the mat today which wasn’t in the plans.

“That I have reached the final is an amazing achievement.

My coach is very happy because I executed what he had taught me to do,” added Karmakar, who last year became the first Indian to compete in an apparatus final at the world championships.

 

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