Dipa Karmakar, India’s first female gymnast at the Olympics, may have just lost out on a medal but she won the hearts of a nation with her vaulting performance. She finished fourth in the women’s vault gymnastics event on Sunday with a score of 15.966, just 0.15 points behind the bronze winner.
“It’s not about winning medals,” said Shekhar Kapur, an Indian film director on Twitter. “It’s about breaking through all stereotypes and proving you are there with the best. You inspire us all.”
“I never expected a medal from this Olympics but to have come fourth is very creditable, This is my highest score in Produnova. I am very happy with my vault. I gave my whole effort to bring an Olympic medal for my countrymen. But it was tough luck.” Ms Karmakar told news outlet First Post. For me this is my first Olympics, but I don’t need to be disappointed. After four years, my target would be gold.”
Gymnastics does not receive much funding from the government of India, with Ms Karmakar earlier telling the BBC that she competed in her first gymnastics competition without shoes and in an ill-fitting costume.
India has yet to win an Olympics medal at the Rio 2016 games.