Dipa Karmakar – Gymnastics in India

Dipa is a big media story in India.

She hopes her Bronze medal at Commonwealth Games will help popularize the sport.

Ashish Kumar’s medals from the Commonwealth and Asian Games in 2010 didn’t change much for Indian gymnasts. Fighting federations that led to de-recognition by the Sports Ministry, lack of funds, and no international tournaments in two years, meant the gymnasts got all of just three months’ training before the Glasgow Games.

“With this little training I managed to get a bronze and I am happy with that, but I would’ve done better if we got more international tours”, said Dipa.

There’s no time for Dipa to celebrate though, as she and the other Indian gymnasts prepare for the Asian Games in Incheon in September. …

Gymnastics is Not Circus, Says Dipa Karmakar After Historic Commonwealth Games Bronze

Jim Holt has been assisting the Men’s Team for some months. I’m looking forward to his assessment of how Dipa’s medals (hopefully) improves the sport in India.

There is plenty of heated discussion online, some Indian non-gymnasts assuming that any negative comment about Dipa’s vault is racism.

I recall a discussion with Raj Bhavsar and Mohini Bhardwaj a couple of years ago. There should be far more successful gymnasts from the subcontinent. They have excellent genetics for acrobatic sport.

On the bright side, I saw many people recommend the start score for handspring double front be reduced from 7.0 to 6.5.

That would help. I’d still rather see the Vault banned for WAG for this cycle. And perhaps one more. I don’t trust the judges. A cannonball landing should be deducted 3.0 – they deduct 0.3. :-(

Even if WAG judges applied the current code, that would help a lot. Any analysis of the women’s Vault judging from Glasgow will quickly reveal that those E-scores are absurd. And that many vaults credited as layout were not layout.

11 comments ↓

#1 Hannah on 08.02.14 at 5:42 am

Rick, Jim has been in India since January trying to train the gymnasts. It is an uphill battle with the politics as we all know, but the gymnasts have to take responsibility also for their own gymnastics. There is no substitute for hard work and repetitions of skills. However, the constant infighting does not make it easy on the gymnasts there. Unfortunately, this will not change. It would be nice if they would acknowledge the woman gymnasts and hire additional expert coaches to help them, especially with their choreography and routine construction. The amount of talent in India is amazing, but with little direction. This is what I experienced in the few days I was there last year. There are exceptions to this statement, but they are not in power really. It is just very frustrating for anyone who truly wants to help them.

#2 Ono No Komachi on 08.02.14 at 8:57 am

Just admit it, Coach Rick.

You were wrong. A modern female can do that vault. Dipa DID it. She got plenty of deductions, but she did it.

Men land these cannonball Roches ALL the time.

the time. Sam Mikulak landed one in the Olympic finals.

Females are more vulnerable to certain types of twisting injuries, so where are the calls to ban Amanars? Lots of people got hurt doing those.

Men land handspring double fronts on their backs and butts and it’s all just part of the fun. A woman does it and it’s time to ban it.

#3 Jacob on 08.02.14 at 10:03 am

I agree with Ono. How many injuries have we seen on Amanar’s and the ‘easy’ DTY, a ton. But how many on the double front? None. The likely hood of tearing an ACL on a twisting vault is so much higher than landing on your neck on a double front. Men crash this vault all the time but we just brush it off like ehh whatever, but with women we get so scared. One day a woman is going to land it like Produnova at the 99 FISU and it will be a glorious moment. To take that away from the sport would be tragic.

#4 Ono No Komachi on 08.02.14 at 10:44 am

To be fair, the numbers of Roches done by females is dwarfed by the number of these twisting vaults. It would be expected that the sheer numbers of injuries would be higher for the latter.

There are legitimate conversations to be had about this, such as if the young age of these athletes interferes with their ability to say no to coaches and just how much difficulty should be able to trump execution.

However, that does’t seem to be the one people are having. It’s all about how disgusting the vault was and how ladies will kill themselves trying it.

#5 Amanda on 08.02.14 at 12:50 pm

A torn ACL vs. a spinal injury…. Amanar vs. any forward flipping vault. Personally, I would rather see a hundred gymnasts with knee injuries, even career-ending knee injuries than have another gymnast lose the ability to walk or face possible death. I am all for banning handspring double front vaults in WAG. When it comes down to it, life is always more important than medals.

#6 coach Rick on 08.02.14 at 2:54 pm

Agreed Amanada.

Some people don’t understand how much more dangerous double front somersaulting tricks are than ANYTHING else. Most acrobatic catastrophic injuries are on forward salto skills.

I don’t want to ban triple back. It’s far safer.

#7 Hjwuan on 08.02.14 at 4:50 pm

off topic but the way vault scoring was done in 2012 was set to be changed last year. a few meets happened with the new scoring but then it randomly changed back. What was the reason?

#8 Ono No Komachi on 08.02.14 at 6:47 pm

Front somersault tricks are more dangerous because the landings are blind and the consequences of a mistake here is landing straight down on the head.

That is true for anyone who does them, so why not ban them for men. Is male life not more important than medals?

The odds are the next catastrophic spinal injury from one of these skills will be to a male, as there are far more males even attempting them.

#9 Ono No Komachi on 08.02.14 at 9:51 pm

Hjwuan, the VT scoring was changed back to the current system because the FIG thought it was too confusing for audiences. Don’t ask me why they bothered implementing it in the first place if they thought this was going to be a big problem.

#10 GAGA on 08.06.14 at 6:10 am

Ono is right.

Did anyone watch MAG vaulting at the Commonwealths?

– Ashish Kumar landed a double front ON HIS BACK!
– Sam Oldham was carried off the podium after his double front then left mid comp in a wheelchair. His earlier attempt during the warm up was also a mess.
– Sean O’Hara landed worse than Karmakar in both Team and Event finals.
– Kent Pieterse landed worse than Karmakar in both team and Event Finals.

So why not ban it for men? Oh, that’s right, we know SOME men can do it properly. Just like some women can do it.

#11 ajay mehta on 08.24.14 at 4:03 am

Today i read an article in Indian Express about dipa karmakar & her efforts to earn the medal and more than that her Produnova performance. Being a sports person in India is a tough game but you have made India proud.1983 cricket world cup revolutionised the cricket in India & it imbibed that” yes we can do it”.Ten years down the line India will be big name in sports . You are & you will be an ispiration for generations.I SALUTE YOU(Dipa Karmakar & her coach) FOR MAKING INDIA PROUD.

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