Millennium Post

Sans Dipa, Indian gymnasts finish 7th in team event final

Jakarta: Forced to compete without Dipa Karmakar, the Indian women's gymnasts finished seventh in the team event final at the Asian Games here on Wednesday.

In the absence of Dipa, who pulled out of team event final after her old knee injury flared up again, the Indians slipped down the order quite early in the proceedings. They eventually finished just ahead of hosts Indonesia in the eight-team final with a score of 138.050.

Each team had three gymnasts competing in all the four apparatus — vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floors — with three best scores to be counted. Unlike in the qualification round where four gymnasts competed and three best scores counted, even one bad performance does have impact on the team ranking in the final round.

For India, Aruna Budda Reddy and Pranati Das featured in all four apparatus while Pranati Nayak did in three, leaving the balance beam apparatus slot to Mandira Chowdhury.

In the last apparatus, which was balance beam, Mandira fell in her front salto and then met with the same fate in her aerial effort as India ended the team final in disappointment.

On Thursday, Pranati Nayak and Aruna Budda Reddy will compete in the vault individual final. The duo had finished ahead of Dipa at sixth and seventh respectively in the vault qualification round on Tuesday.

Dipa is expected to compete in balance beam individual final on August 24 after she failed to qualify for final in her pet vault event. She had finished behind Pranati Nayak and Aruna in the vault qualification and only two competitors are allowed from a country in the final. "There was risk of a dangerous injury, so she could not be her best. We will give her rest from the team event but she will definitely do well in (balancing) beam finals," Dipa's coach Bisweswar Nandi said. Asked if competing in beam finals will affect the knee adversely, Nandi said: "No, the landing is not hard on balancing beam."

A sobbing Dipa blamed it on a jerk felt during the 'podium practice' and insisted she will strive to make up for the lost opportunity by shining in the balancing beam finals. Dipa, who attained global fame attempting the death-defying 'Produnova' vault at a stage no less than Olympics for a fourth-place finish in 2016, could not even qualify for her pet event here. "I felt jerk during podium training. I could not do my best. I had trained hard for this," Dipa said.

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