Star Indian Olympian Dipa Karmakar touched down at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi on Saturday morning amid massive fanfare and galore. The 23-year-old gymnast from Agartala made way into a billion hearts after a stellar performance in Rio 2016.
Dipa achieved two special feats: first she became the only Indian woman gymnast to make it to the Olympics and second, she is the only gymnast ever from the country to make it to the finals of an event. The artistic gymnast is also one of the very few athletes in the world who has perfected the produnova vault, a fact almost everyone is aware of now.
She stood fourth in the vault finals in Olympics 2016, a standing which even Dipa was shocked to see herself in. "I knew I could reach seventh, eighth position but had never even thought of a fourth place. I'm very happy," Dipa told ANI after reaching the national capital.
She earned a total of 15.006 points in the final round and missed the bronze medal by a mere 0.150 points. For an athlete, the quest to achieve greatness never ends and Dipa, too, who surprised herself with the fourth finish, rued the fact that she came so close to clinching the bronze, yet couldn't get it.
"Yes, I'm a bit disappointed about not winning the bronze. Nevertheless, this was my first Olympics and I have now understood what needs to be done to shine at the greatest level," Dipa continued.
The Arjuna Award winner, a bronze medallist in the Commonwealth Games 2014, is reportedly on the verge of being bestowed with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna. "My daughter couldn't get an Olympic medal. But we are very happy to know that her name has been recommended for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award," Dipa's father Dulal Karmakar told the Times of India.
"This is the highest award for a sportsperson I am sure she will bring home the gold medal for our country at the 2020 Olympics."
Dipa's coach, Bisweswar Nandi, too, will possibly be receiving the Dronacharya Award. "Biseshwar Nandi's name for Dronacharya Award was sent to the ministry before the deadline ended and before the commencement of the Olympic Games. After Dipa's Olympics performance, he should get the award," a source told the Press Trust of India.
Watch Dipa Karmakar arrive in New Delhi after Olympics 2016: