Dipa Karmakar, who scripted history by becoming the first Indian gymnast to storm into the individual vault final in the artistic gymnastics at the Rio Olympics, on Thursday expressed her excitement on reaching so far and vowed to perform at her absolute best to clinch a medal for the country.
Date – Aug. 14, 2016.
Time – 11:15 p.m. IST
Venue – Rio Olympic Arena
Participants – Simone Biles (USA), Hong Un-Jong (North Korea), Giulia Steingruber (Switzerland), Maria Paseka (Russia), Oksana Chusovitina (Uzbekistan), Shallon Olsen (Canada), Wang Yan (China), Dipa Karmakar (India).
TV Channel: Star Sports Network
Dipa, who was making her first Olympic appearance, admitted that although it would be tough to compete against former medallists in the finals, she is geared up to put her best foot forward.
‘I am not nervous, but excited as I have reached the finals. I am very happy because it is my first Olympics. My efforts will be to give my best. I can’t predict about getting a medal as Olympics is unpredictable. The Chinese team, who can easily clinch gold, are finding it difficult to bag even bronze in the ongoing games. And, I came for the first time and reached the finals, so I am really happy. The athletes, who have qualified for the vault finals along with me, are gold and bronze medallists. So, competing with them will be tough, but I will try to give my best,’ Dipa told ANI.
While expressing his confidence on Dipa, coach Bishweshwar Nandi said he is sure that the debutant Olympian would give much better performance than what she has performed so far.
‘She is currently standing at the eighth place and I am expecting her to climb by two to three places. As a coach, I believe that all the eight girls, who qualified for the finals are medallists. Anything can happen on the final day. The one, whose star will favour, will clinch the medal. The preparation has been going really well. Dipa’s physio has also reached. I am confident that she will give much better performance in the finals,’ he said.
The first woman from the country to feature in the lineup of gymnasts at the Olympics, Karmakar succeeded in performing the difficult ‘Produnova’ routine to secure 14.850 points after two attempts, but had to undergo a nervous wait for hours to find out that she had made it to the final with an eight-place finish. Making the top-eight cut in her favourite vault, Karmakar will return to the spotlight in the final that is slated for August 14.