Agartala soaks in Dipa's gritty show

The tiny and sleepy city of Agartala, decorated with posters and banners wishing good luck to Dipa and her coach Bishweswar Nandi, remained awake till late into the night to watch the local star shine in Rio. But it was not disappointed with her effort.

Dipa Karmakar gave it her all in the vault final in Rio de Janeiro on Monday.   -  Reuters

Dipa Karmakar lost the final battle in the Rio Olympics but she left an impression on her city by competing with the best in the world and finishing fourth in women's vault final on Sunday night.

The tiny and sleepy city of Agartala, decorated with posters and banners wishing good luck to Dipa and her coach Bishweswar Nandi, remained awake till late into the night to watch the local star shine in Rio. But it was not disappointed with her effort.

The mood at the Karmakar house in Abhaynagar was positive despite Dipa missing out on a much-anticipated medal. Scores of mediapersons gathered here jostled for sound bytes of Dipa's parents, Dulal and Gauri, after the event.

The Karmakar family, its relatives and friends and local MP S. P. Dutta saw their dear daughter live in action on television at a makeshift roof-top arrangement, including putting up of a big screen, at their house.

"I am proud of the way she has performed,” said Dipa's father Dulal.

“Some people tell me that you don't have a son, but I tell them why do I need a son when my daughter is doing me so proud. She is my son. I don't feel the absence of a son.”

Dulal said he would present Dipa, who became the first Indian gymnast to reach the Olympics final, a nice gift. “It will remain a surprise.”

After the Olympic test, Dipa, however, has another test to overcome — her M.A. (Political Science) exam. “She will come to Agartala on August 22 and her MA exam is starting from August 21. On August 23, she has one paper. She asked me to bring notes for her. She said she is free after the Olympics and will manage it,” said Dulal.

An emotional Dulal, himself a weightlifting coach, said his daughter surpassed his expectations in quick time. “I wanted to be an international but I could not. So I wanted Dipa to be an international and she fulfilled my ambition. I was very happy. Now she has surpassed my expectation.

“She was disappointed after she could not qualify for the Olympics in the World championship. But I told her not to lose heart.”

Dipa's mother Gauri shared her emotions. “I enjoy the attention I get as Dipa's mother,” she said.