While the intraweb and media sphere stays abuzz with the news of stellar athletes like Abhinav Bindra, Narsingh Yadav, Tintu Luka and Jitu Rai, Dipa Karmakar stays focused and toils and hard out of the spotlight. Despite being India’s most successful female gymnast till date, a thin veil of anonymity surrounds her and perhaps a bit of ignorance from the general population and the media.
This is perhaps not unexpected in a country like India but let’s not forget that Dipa is perhaps India’s best medal bet at the Rio Olympics 2016. Here are 5 facts about her you absolutely need to know:
1) Dipa Is The Only Female Gymnast To Ever Qualify For Olympics From India
Yes you read that right. Dipa is the first and only Indian female gymnast ever to qualify for Olympics. Just let that sink in for a bit. Then consider that she is also the first Indian gymnast to qualify for Olympics in last 52 years! If that is not phenomenal, I am not sure what is.
2) Dipa Is The Only Indian Female Gymnast To Win A Commonwealth Games Medal
Dipa won the bronze medal at the 2014 commonwealth games, the first and only Indian female gymnast to do so. Ashish Kumar is the only other gymnast who has won a commonwealth games gymnastics medal for India.
3) Dipa Is The Only Indian Female Gymnast To Win A Medal At The Artistic Gymnastics Asian Championships
Dipa won the bronze medal at the Artistic Gymnastics Asian Championships. She won the medal at the Women’s Vault category.
4) Dipa Is THe Only Indian Female Gymnast To Qualify For World Artistic Gymnastics Championships
She is the only Indian gymnast to qualify for the final rounds of World Artistic Gymnastics Championships where is ranked 5th by a small margin.
5) She Is The Only 3rd Person In The World To Perform The “Produnova Vault”
Made famous by Russian gymnast Yelena Produnova in 1999, the “Produnova Vault” is considered one of the most difficult vaults in gymnastics. It has a difficulty rating of 7.000 and execution rating of 8.300. During the vault if the gymnast does not land properly on her feet, the extreme force can break her spine in half. Apart from Dipa only two gymnasts can perform the Produnova Vault in the world, Fadwa Mahmoud and Yamilet Peña. This makes Dipa part of a very rare gymnastics contingent.