Rahul Dravid is India's U-19 coach © PTI
Rahul Dravid is India’s U-19 coach © PTI

Former Indian batsman and now Under-19 coach Rahul Dravid on Monday, was all praise for Dipa Karmakar who became the first Indian gymnast to make the cut for the individual vault finals in her first Olympic Games after finishing 8th in the qualifying round in Rio. Karmakar who hails from Tripura is also India’s first woman to qualify for the Olympics. She secured 14.850 points after two attempts. Dravid was in awe of her commitment and belief, as he reached out to Facebook to express his thoughts. Dravid also posted three photos of Dipa, one with her coach Bishweshwar Nandi, one with her close ones before her departure for Rio and the third one where she is with her parents. READ: Rio Olympics: Indian contingent gets cricketers’ support

Competing in the third sub-division, Dipa had an average score of 51.665. She managed to perform her much-vaunted ‘Produnova’ vault cleanly to score 14.850 on the vault, 11.666 on the uneven bars 12.866 in balance beam and 12.033 in floor exercises. The Tripura gymnast scored executed the ‘Produnova’ in her first attempt on the vault to 15.100 with 8.1 for execution and 7.00 for difficulty.

She scored 14.6 in her second attempt with 8.6 for execution and 6.00 for difficulty. In uneven bars, Deepa scored 7.166 for execution and 4.5 for difficulty. In balance beam, she scored 7.566 for execution and 5.3 for difficulty while in floor exercises her scores read 7.133 for execution and 5.2 for difficulty with a penalty of 0.3.

By time she finished, Deepa was sixth in vaults and 27th overall and had to endure a nervous wait of five hours for the other two sub-divisions to finish. The top eight qualify for the final. Dipa’s chances seemed bleak after she fell to seventh when Simone Biles of the US scored 16.050 in the vault event.

She dropped another rung to eighth when Canada’s Shallon Olsen’s terrific effort of 14.950 on the vault rejiged the overall standings further.

However, with no other competitor managing to surpass her score in individual vault, Dipa managed to enter individual vault final and grab a piece of history. Brazil’s Rebeca Andrade topped the overall standings with 58.732 overall. She scored 15.566 on the vault, 14.933 on the uneven bars, 14.2 on the balance beam and 14.033 on the floor exercise. The Russian duo of Seda Tutkhalian (58.207 overall) and Aliya Mustafina (58.098 overall) finished second and third respectively on the overall standings.

Dipa will compete in the finals on August 14.

(With inputs from IANS)