Dipa Karmakar poised to vault into history books

Brace yourself India, for she is putting her life on the line for you tonight.

 |  2-minute read |   14-08-2016
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Dipa Karmakar has become a household name over the past two weeks. She's the first Indian woman gymnast to qualify for the Olympics and she did it using a vault which put her life at risk.

To even secure a place in the finals, the vault she had to perform - the Produnova - has the highest difficulty rating in all of gymnastics. It involves a front handspring and two front sommersaults and one misstep can lead to major injuries.

Also read: Dipa Karmakar will be challenging death to win India a medal at Olympics

With India yet to open its account in the Rio Olympics and major players floundering, Dipa banked on the Produnova to qualify for the finals in the Olympics. Now the hopes of the nation rest on the shoulders of this 23-year-old gymnast.

On the eve of India's 70th Independence Day, she will once again perform the vaunted "death vault" to bring the 1.2 billion strong nation its first medal in Rio.

dipa-embed_081416070025.jpg Various stages of the Produnova manoeuvre.

We have been incredibly unlucky at Rio. Saina Nehwal got injured, Abhinav Bindra missed bronze by a whisker, the men's hockey team lost narrowly against Germany and Netherlands. Our stars have fallen out of form in key stretches of play.

Jitu Rai, ranked third in the world in 10m and 50m Air Pistol categories, failed to even qualify for the finals. Deepika Kumari, a former world number one in archery, couldn't even get out of the round of 32.

All this while, our sports minister, Vijay Goel, has been taking selfies, flouting norms and embarrassing the nation in front of a global audience.

Also read: Why Salman Khan should be forgiven for mistaking Dipa Karmakar for Deepika

So we come down to Dipa and her ability to perform the "vault of death". The authorities, incredibly, didn't even let her trainer fly to Rio to help her until she made the finals.

So brace yourself India, for she is putting her life on the line for you tonight.

Win or lose, the Rio Olympics has been a win for her courage, perseverance and outrageous skill, and a shameful look in the mirror for our authorities, who have failed her.

Writer

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