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Dipa Karmakar chases Olympics history at Rio: Know Indian gymnast's vault final opponents

Tripura girl will face very stiff competitions from American Simone Biles, Russian Maria Paseka and Hong Un-jong of North Korea.

By Jayanta Oinam | Last Updated: Sunday, August 14, 2016 - 14:42
Dipa Karmakar chases Olympics history at Rio: Know Indian gymnast's vault final opponents
Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Indian trendsetting gymnast Dipa Karmakar will compete in the vault final at Rio Olympics 2016 tonight. If Karmakar manages to win a medal, it will be the best gift to India on her 70th Independence Day.

But the 23-year-old Tripura girl will face very tough competitions from the likes of American Simone Biles — women's all-round champion at Rio — and Russian Maria Paseka — London 2012 bronze medallist, and Beijing 2008 gold medallist Hong Un-jong of North Korea.

Here are her opponents:

Simone Biles (USA): The 19-year-old American sensation made a mockery of the field when she produced a score of 16.050 from her two vaults (6.300D; 9.700E and 6.400D; 9.700E).

She will enter the finals as the favourite, and rightly, she is the one to look out for.

Hong Un-Jong (North Korea): She is first North Korean female gymnast to win a medal at the Olympics. At Beijing 2008, she outclassed German vault legend Oksana Chusovitina.

During the Rio qualifiers, the 27-year-old Korean produced a brilliant scoring routine. She is more than capable of improving her score of 15.683.

Giulia Steingruber (Switzerland): She is the dark-house among the eight finalist. After ruling the European circuits for more than two years, Steingruber is looking for that big Olympic medal.

In the qualifiers the 22-year-old scored 15.266, and was ahead of Russian vault specialist Maria Paseka.

Maria Paseka (Russia): The London 2012 bronze medallist is looking for her first Olympics gold medal. She has already won a silver in the team all-round competition with Russia.

Interestingly, her qualification score of 15.049 is exactly the same score she produced in London finals. With a tendency to produced errors, she will need a miracle to beat the likes of Biles and Un-Jong.

Oksana Chusovitina (Uzbekistan): This time, she is representing Uzbekistan, after Soviet Union and Germany.

At 41, Chusovitina still packs a punch when it comes to her favourite apparatus, vault. She scored 14.999 during the qualification, and a little improvement on that can give her first individual Olympic gold medal.

Shallon Olsen (Canada): A virtually unknown entity until the Rio Olympics, Olsen impressed everyone one with her neat routine last week.

The 16-year-old scored 14.950 during the qualification, and she can make some history today.

Wang Yan (China): Another 16-year-old in the final, but with lot of promises. The young Chinese gymnast, as they usually do, can shock everyone in the finals.

Her relatively low score of 14.949 in the qualifiers was mainly due to penalty in the second vault. A disciplined performance in the finals will give the rest of the field pressure.

First Published: Sunday, August 14, 2016 - 12:49

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