Dipa Karmakar is known as an artistic gymnast from India. This highly talented young sports star hails from eastern part of India called Agartala(Tripura). She is representing India through an international platform (Senior International Elite level) and was recognized after she won a bronze medal in the 2014 Commonwealth Games held at Glasgow. Karmakar became the first Indian gymnast to achieve the bronze honor in the history of the game.
Karmakar is a topper among the only five women who have successfully performed Produnova vault competition; this contest is the toughest for women in the category of artistic vaults. Dipa Karmakar holds the highest score in this competition, 15.100.
During the initial days, this hardworking and dedicated gymnast did not have proper equipment to practice gymnastics on. Yet she proved to be a rare gem from India.
Early life and Background
Born on 9th August, 1993, Karmakar started practicing gymnastics when she was only six years old. She was coached by Bisbeshwar Nandi. She had a flat foot which was a great challenge for herself and the coach. Having a flat foot meant that it would affect the spring in her jumps. Her coach had said in an interview that fixing the girl’s feet to achieve a curve foot, at such a small age, was the hardest. Nevertheless, the coach managed to fix her flat feet and helped her excel in her craft. Dipa says that she is indebted to her coach and if it were not for his vision and training, she would not have achieved much.
Dipa’s father was a SAI Coach and wanted her to pursue gymnastics as her career. Her mother Gauri Karmakar is very proud of her daughter’s success after Dipa got selected for Rio Games.
In 2007, she won Junior National in Jalpaiguri, West Bengal. This encouraged her to go further. At the age of 14, she has won 77 medals in total, since 2007, out of which 67 were gold. She won them through national, international and state championships.
Dipa Karmakar – Produnova Vault and other achievements
In 2010, she became a contingent in the Delhi Commonwealth Games and in 2011 she took part in the National Games of India, representing Tripura. Wining five gold medals in floor vaults, uneven bars, all round and balance beam.
She took part in the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Women’s Vault Finals, and won a bronze medal. She finished fourth in the 2014 Asian Games. Karmakar came fifth at the 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics Championship, a first for her country.
Karmakar’s attempt in the most difficult Produnova has made India proud of her achievements. She scored 15.100, the highest in the world and making this a rare phenomenon of all! She beat two of her contemporaries – Fadwa Mahmoud from Egypt and Yamilet Pena of Dominican Republic. That score is broken into 7.000 for difficulty and 8.1000 for performance and 0.1 for penalty.
During Produnova,one had to run at high speed towards the springboard, this leap is followed by a block by the hand, making the legs move in two full rotations in the form of two somersaults before making the final frontal landing. Now if this maneuver goes wrong, it can result in breaking of the spine. Even though the vault is high risk, Dipa was confident about doing a good job. Plus, she had taken all the tips from coaches and watched Youtube videos of Yelena Produnova. She also watched the mistakes of other gymnasts closely. She started training for the Produnova vault three months before the actual performance. After doing the two somersaults, the weight that comes on the leg is double. If a woman is 45 kg, the legs have to sustain the weight of 80 to 90 kgs. If a person lands on the neck, it can crack under impact. But Dipa was confident about her feat. She said, “I don’t image the worst.”
In April 2016, she was declared the first Indian female gymnast to secure an Olympic berth held in Rio, by accumulating 52.698 points. After a gap of 52 years, Karmaker has become the first Indian gymnast to qualify for the Olympics making it a big record in the history of games. Her performance in the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics is much awaited by everyone, especially the Indians. It will start from 5th August, 2016.