NEW DELHI: Fresh from her historic feat at the Rio Olympics, gymnast Dipa Karmakar touched down in the country to a rousing welcome here today and candidly said she was oblivious to all the frenzy she had generated in the past few days, while promising a medal in the next Summer Games.
Dipa’s fourth-place finish in the individual vault final at the Rio Olympics is India’s best performance in the event at an international competition.
The 23-year-old from Tripura missed out on an Olympic medal by 0.150 points despite successfully executing the dangerous Produnova vault (15.266) in her second attempt to secure a remarkable 15.066 points in the final.
“I thank all Indians for praying for me. I am happy but would have been happier if I had won a medal for the country because I missed it by 0.15 points… but whatever happens, happens for good. Hopefully, better things are awaiting. I was not aware about the frenzy back home. Sorry I couldn’t win a medal but will surely try to win next time” Dipa said on her arrival at the Indira Gandhi International Airport.
Dipa again thanked her coach Bishweshwar Nandi, who has been nominated for the prestigious Dronacharya Award.
“I thank my coach the most. Being chosen for Khel Ratna Award is great but getting it after winning a medal would have given me the greatest satisfaction. And for me more important is that my coach Bishweshwar Nandi winning the Dronacharya Award. He has been there with us for 16 years and he deserves it more than me.”
On her magnificent performance in Rio, she added, “I knew I could reach 7th, 8th position but had never even thought of a fourth place. I’m very happy.”
With her now famous death-defying Produnova vault, Dipa is currently one of the most well-known gymnasts in the world.–PTI