Sun, Dec 4, 2016 | updated 11:37 AM IST

Assured Dipa before finals that if Produnova could do it, so could she: Karmakar's coach

Updated: Aug 15, 2016 11:06 IST

By Vivek Prabhakar

Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Aug 15 (ANI): Indian trailblazer gymnast Dipa Karmakar's coach Bisweshwar Nandi revealed that before the vault finals of the Rio Olympics here, he had motivated her by saying that if former Russian gymnast Yelena Produnova could execute the dangerous artistic vault then so could she.

Speaking to ANI here after Dipa's performance, Nandi said that on the night before the finals, he put absolutely no pressure on her and assured her of getting her name in a top slot.

"I shared lots of jokes with her to lighten her up and I also showed videos of the actual Produnova manoeuvre and told her that if the Russian gymnast could do it then so could she," he said.

Asserting that it had been a gruelling but fulfilling journey for the both of them, Nandi expressed happiness at Karmakar's final performance on the vault and said that she had perfectly executed everything she had learnt.

"Of course I would be happier if she would have won, but I am very happy with her performance. I want to assure the nation that in the upcoming Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games, we will win medals for the country," the coach said.

Expressing disappointment at losing the Olympic medal by a whisker as she finished fourth in the women's individual vault final, Dipa Karmakar said that she was crestfallen but this has only made her more determined to strike gold at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Speaking to ANI, Karmakar said that she was satisfied and happy by her performance as she had executed everything she had learnt in her training, but was heartbroken that she missed the medal by inches.

"I think my performance was fine as I executed everything my training taught me and I am very happy about that. But I'm heartbroken that I could not win a medal. But I will keep trying for the future. Want to thank my coach as his support was invaluable. Also want to thank the Sports Association of India, the Gymnastics Federation of India and the Sports Ministry as I would not have been here without them," she said.

Asserting that sports is all about winning and losing, Karmakar added wistfully that she wished she could have put in more effort into her training, then she would have scored the medal for sure.

"I was confident about executing the produnova. My target was to floor both the vaults perfectly. This time I came prepared for a silver or a bronze and I came fourth. Next time I will eye the gold and maybe I will bag the silver or the bronze. I'm indebted to the nation for their support," she added.

The 23-year-old, hailing from Agartala in Tripura, missed the bronze medal by 0.150 points as American gymnast Simone Biles won her third gold medal of the prestigious quadrennial event at the Rio Olympic Arena.

Biles clinched the gold with a vault of 15.966 ahead of Russia's Maria Paseka (15.253) and Giulia Steingruber of Switzerland (15.216).

Dipa performed Tsukahara (14.866) in her first attempt before successfully executing dangerous Produnova vault (15.266) in her second attempt to secure a remarkable 15.066 points overall.

Karmakar had created history when she became the first Indian gymnast to enter the final on her debut at the quadrennial multi-discipline games after finishing eighth in the qualifying round.

India, which have sent their largest-ever contingent of 119 athletes in Rio Olympics, are yet to open their medal account in the ongoing Summer Games. (ANI)