RIO DE JANEIRO (Diya TV) — On the journey of attempting to earn India its first medal at the Rio Olympics, gymnast Dipa Karamkar fell just short of sinking her teeth into a medal by an agonizing 0.15 points. India’s only gymnast in the games finished in fourth place of Sunday’s vaulting final, just behind Switzerland’s Giulia Steingruber.
While her efforts ultimately fell short, Karamkar’s performance at the Games, including her move known as the “vault of death,” left Indians back home captivated and a symbol of immense pride for the South Asian nation.
The 23-year-old spoke afterward, sharing her excitement for another opportunity at the 2020 Games. “For me this is my first Olympics,” she said. “But I don’t need to be disappointed, I will give my best in Tokyo 2020.”
Among those congratulating Karmakar on social media was ace shooter Abhinav Bindra, the first-ever Indian to win an individual gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Dipa Karmakar you are my hero !
— Abhinav A. Bindra OLY (@Abhinav_Bindra) August 14, 2016
A multitude of the nation’s top athletes, politicians and celebrities hailed the efforts of the young gymnast on Twitter as well.
Congratulations #DipaKarmakar you have made your country and your people proud Jai hind 🎉!
— Yuvraj Singh (@YUVSTRONG12) August 15, 2016
#DipaKarmakar you made us all proud.
— Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) August 14, 2016
Look at the humility of this gem of a girl @DipaKarmakar .You are already a winner in our hearts.U are our pride& U tried ur best.
— resul pookutty (@resulp) August 15, 2016
India is a nation known for its crazed obsession, amongst other sports, for cricket, not gymnastics. Karmakar’s performance on the largest of global stages was recognize for its unique remark-ability by star cricketer Virender Sehwag, who knows India doesn’t exactly have the infrastructure to support the development of athletes in such a sport.
Thank u #DipaKarmakar fr getting us united at midnight cheering fr Gymnastics,in a country with no infrastructure for this sport.Super Proud
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) August 14, 2016
Just how amazing was her “vault of death”? Ask American gymnast Simone Biles:
Simone Biles: The vault Dipa does is amazing and I will never try those vaults. It's crazy but it's amazing how she pulled it off.
— ESPN India (@ESPNIndia) August 14, 2016
Karmakar thanked her coach, family and fans for their support on her new Twitter account, which was established shortly after her finish.
Hello everyone, very happy to connect with you all today through my team. Happy Independence Day! pic.twitter.com/6AW11EPPRe
— Dipa Karmakar (@DipaKarmakar) August 15, 2016