Dipa Karmakar Becomes the First Indian Gymnast to Qualify for the Vault Finals
The 22-year-old gymnast performed one of the deadliest moves on the vault to qualify
Last night, 22-year-old, Dipa Karmakar made history by becoming the first Indian gymnast to qualify for the individual Olympic final in Women's Gymnastics. Standing at just 4 feet 11 inches tall, Dipa is one of five women in the world to successfully land the Produnova vault, also known as the vault of death, garnering a high score of 14.850. "One wrong move and I could die on the spot," Dipa told BBC in an interview. "To achieve something in life, you have to take risks."
By time Dipa finished the preliminaries, she was sixth on the vault and 27th overall. Though she did not qualify for any other events, she was still in the running to earn a spot in the individual vault finals-granted she remained in the top eight.
After Simone Biles dominated the event with an impressive 16.050, Dipa dropped down to seventh place. Chances seemed even more bleak after Canada's Shallon Olsen scored a terrific 14.950. After waiting five hours, no other competitor was able to beat Dipa's score, giving her a shot at grabbing a piece of history on Tuesday.
The talented athlete has defied all odds to make it this far in the Games. When she started training in India, her gym did not have much equipment-not even a vaulting mat. "We had to put mats on top of each other and make do with that," she said. That said, through years of dedication and hard work, Dipa has won 77 medals throughout her career, 67 of them gold.
She celebrates her 23rd birthday on Tuesday, and we're sure it will be one for the books.