Dipa Karmakar happy with her performance

Having given it her all, Dipa Karmakar, who finished fourth in the gymnastic vault final at Rio, did not rue her missed opportunity in gaining a medal for India. "After four years, my target would be gold," she said.


Karmakar..."It's my bad luck that I missed the bronze medal by a few points. But no problem, I never expected this fourth place finish in my first Olympics."   -  AP

Dipa Karmakar on Sunday said she was not disappointed at missing out on a historic bronze in the vault final of the Rio Olympics here.

"I never expected a medal from this Olympics but to have come fourth is very creditable. In boxing [and] 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.

"This is my first Olympics. But I don't need to be disappointed. I will give my best in Tokyo 2020," she said. "I'm fully satisfied with my performance. This is my highest score. But the medalists were better than me. Maybe, it was not my day," a graceful Dipa added.

>Read: Dipa finishes a strong fourth

She said with some luck she could have got a medal.

"It's my bad luck that I missed the bronze medal by a few points. But no problem, I never expected this fourth place finish in my first Olympics. I never expected a medal honestly. My first target was to better my scores in the two vaults, and I succeeded in doing that. Whatever I had learnt, I managed to perform.

There's been no better score than this in the two vaults that I performed," said the girl from Agartala.

The 23-year-old Dipa, 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.

Full effort

"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 bit luck [which was missing]."

Dipa went for the 'Tsukahara' in her first attempt in which she collected 14.866 points. She went for a difficulty level of 6 and got 8.855 for the execution. Dipa 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 don't have a foreign coach, we were able to achieve this through my coach and the SAI's effort," said the gymnast who stands at four feet and 11 inches.

"We have not got any foreign training. We got only three months' to prepare for this. 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," she said.

"Many many thanks to my fellow Indians. I could achieve this only because of their prayers and best wishes," she added.

On the comparison with Indian athletes like Milkha Singh and P. T. Usha, who also had finished fourth, she said, "I feel I am very small, and I'm also much younger. The day I achieve a gold medal in Olympics for India, I would see myself in the same [league as] them. They are all great names. I'm nowhere close to them. I'm very small. I will just try my best to give a medal."

Having missed bronze by a whisker would however earn her disappointment from her family members and coach Nandi, she admitted. "Everyone else, like my parents and coach will be unhappy, their regret would have been much less had I finished fifth or sixth. 'But why fourth, and miss a medal, they would ask...'"

Nandi said Dipa's landing could have been better. "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."

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