India's trailblazer in gymnastics, the 23-year-old from Tripura, Dipa Karmakar, was left astounded by the roaring welcome, when she returned home after missing out on an Olympic medal by just 0.150 points.
Dipa’s fourth-place finish in the individual vault final at the Rio Olympics is India’s best performance in the event at an international competition.
“I thank all Indians for praying for me. I am happy but would have been happier if I had won a medal for the country because I missed it by 0.15 points... but whatever happens, happens for good. Hopefully, better things are waiting. I was not aware about the frenzy back home. Sorry I couldn’t win a medal but will surely try to win next time”, said Dipa on her arrival at the Indira Gandhi International Airport.
Dipa also thanked her coach Bishweshwar Nandi, who has been nominated for the prestigious Dronacharya Award. “I thank my coach the most. Being chosen for Khel Ratna Award is great but getting it after winning a medal would have given me the greatest satisfaction. And for me, more important is that my coach Bishweshwar Nandi winning the Dronacharya Award. He has been there with us for 16 years and he deserves it more than me”, said the Indian trailblazer in gymnastics.
Back in Tripura, posters wishing Dipa have been put across Agartala, the capital city. It seems, all the roads in the city lead to one destination, Dipa Karmakar's residence. Outside the two storey house, Dipa's posters welcome any new guest. Now, it is one of the most famous destinations in the city, nothing less than the famous Ujjayanta palace.
With her now famous death-defying Produnova vault, Dipa is currently one of the most well-known gymnasts in the world.