Trailblazing Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakar said that she’s not disappointed at missing out on a historic bronze in the vault final of the Rio Olympics here and that she’s satisfied with her performance.
“I never expected a medal from this Olympics but to have come fourth is very creditable. In boxing, wrestling you get a bronze even when you finish fourth but not for me. It was very close to medal. After four years, my target would be gold,” Dipa said brimming with confidence.
“For me this is my first Olympics. But I don’t need to be disappointed I will give my best in Tokyo 2020,” she added.
The young gymnast, who hails from Tripura, said that she is “fully satisfied” with her performance.
“This is my highest score. But the medalists were better than me. Maybe, it was not my day,” a graceful Dipa added.
The 23-year-old, who had become the first Indian woman gymnast to have qualified for the Olympics, scored an average of 15.066 points, a mere 0.15 less than the eventual bronze winner Giulia Steingruber (15.216) of Switzerland.
The gold went to American pre-event favourite Simone Biles (15.966) while reigning vault world champion Maria Paseka of Russia got the silver with an average of 15.253 points.
Dipa could have been in the reckoning for a medal had she not landed on her haunches in her risky ‘Produnova’ vault for which she is now known all over the world. Dipa landed on her feet but then sat down and lost points.
She scored 15.266 from her ‘Produnova’ with 8.266 points for execution for a difficulty level of 7. The average of the two attempts gave her 15.066, a mere 0.15 difference with bronze winner Steingruber.
“This is my highest score in Prudonova, I had 15.1 earlier. I am very happy with my vault. I gave my whole effort to bring an Olympic medal for my countrymen. But it was a tough luck.”
The young talent 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 have not got any foreign training, and had only three months to prepare. We were able to achieve this through my coach and the SAI’s effort.
“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,” said the gymnast who stands at four feet and 11 inches.
Having missed bronze by a whisker would however earn her brickbats from her family members and coach Nandi, she admitted.
“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,” Mr. Nandi said.
Dipa thanked her supporters, said: “Many thanks to my fellow Indians. I couldn’t have achieved this without their prayers and best wishes.”