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Dipa Karmakar vaults her way to gold in Rio Games

Rio de Janeiro: Hours after creating history by becoming the first Indian gymnast to qualify for the Olympics, Dipa Karmakar clinched the gold in vaults finals at the test event of the Rio Games yesterday.

September 22, 2014: India's Dipa Karmakar performs on the vault during the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon. Pic/AFP
September 22, 2014: India's Dipa Karmakar performs on the vault during the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon. Pic/AFP

Twenty-two-year-old Dipa scored 14.833 as her best effort to finish first in the women's vaults finals and win the gold in a rare such feat by an Indian gymnast in a global event.

Dipa came up with her gold winning effort in the first attempt itself and she scored 14.566 in her second and last try.

This gold won by Dipa in vaults has nothing to do with her Olympic qualification in the artistic event, which is an all-round competition.

Gymnastics officials said that Dipa's feat was the first time an Indian woman clinched a gold in a global gymnastic competition.

"No Indian has ever won a gold at a global event earlier and Dipa's gold is the first time this is happening. She has qualified for the Olympics and then has won a gold now. This is fantastic stuff," international referee Deepak Kagra told PTI.

Earlier in the day, Dipa created history by becoming the first Indian woman gymnast to qualify for Olympics as she booked a berth for the Rio Games after a strong performance at the final qualifying event here.

Twitter leaps for joy

Congratulations #DipaKarmakar on creating history with your qualification. You inspire young Indians with your achievement. Best wishes
@sachin_rtSachin Tendulkar

Many congratulations for taking Indian gymnastics to a new high. Dipa Karmakar, we are so proud of you
@sarbanandsonwalSports minister Sarbananda Sonowal

Congrats Dipa Karmakar. By virtue of Olympic qualification joins TOPS (Target Olympic Podium Scheme) that entitles her assistance of 30 lakhs
@DGSAISports Authority of India

Congrats Dipa Kamarkar... There's a first for everything. Hope many more firsts come your way
@vishy64thekingViswanathan Anand

Dipa's career highs
> 2007 Jr national champion
> Five-time (2010-2014) senior national champion
> 2014 Commonwealth Games bronze winner in Glasgow
> 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics finalist in Glasgow
> 2015 Artistic Gymnastics Asia Championships bronze winner in Hiroshima

Dipa, India's only Produnova prodigy
The Produnova is an artistic gymnastics vault/jump. It comprises of a front handspring and two front forward sommersaults and a front landing.

It was executed first by at the 1999 University Games, by Russian Yelena Produnova and is considered to be one of the toughest vaults as one wrong move can result in a serious neck or spine injury and/or worse still, death.

At the Rio test event yesterday, Dipa scored 15.066 points in the Produnova vault, the highest among the 14 competitors. Only two of Dipa's contemporaries Yamilet Pena (Dominican Republic) and Fadwa Mahmoud (Egypt) have attempted the Produnova.

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