Gymnast Dipa Karmakar drops 'Vault of Death' Produnova, to switch to new Handspring 540 move
India’s star gymnast, Dipa Karmakar who became the darling of the nation after her fourth-placed finish in the women’s vault competition at the 2016 Rio Olympics and is also famous for performing the Produnova - popularly known as the 'Vault of Death', will temporarily switch to a new move known as the Handspring 540.
Karmakar became famous as she stuck to the Produnova in the Rio Olympics inspite of the fact that it carries the risk of serious injuries. The Produnova is special and difficult at the same time because if performed successfully, it can give a high score to the gymnast at one go.
On the other hand, the Handspring 540, a routine which Karmakar will be performing for the time being, also generates a relatively high score. It involves one-and-a-half somersaults while the Produnova, which is also a forward handspring routine, involves two full somersaults.
Karmakar’s coach, Bishweshwar Nandi, while admitting the fact that the gymnast has been recuperating from a surgically repaired knee, told Sportskeeda that the decision to switch to Handspring 540 isn’t a direct result of the surgery.
"It is not related directly to the injury," he said. "Dipa has always had the mentality to go for tough vaults."
He added, "Every sport changes with the time and so has gymnastics. Nowadays, more than flexibility, the difficulty comes with the gymnast's power. And this is what this particular move brings to the table - a higher score!"
“If you land Handspring 540 perfectly, it can give you more points than an imperfect Produnova,” Nandi explained. He added, "We have only started full training 15 days back. So, we whether she is landing the move comfortable or not - the feedback for it we will get later."
The Dronacharya awardee also outlined his ward's next aim, stating, "Our target is, of course, Gold Coast (Commonwealth Games)."
Both the Produnova and Handspring 540 are difficult moves but the probability of perfectly landing the latter is more, so Karmakar’s coach wants to give it a try. Like he said, it will be interesting to see whether the 24-year-old will be able to acclimatise to the new move or not.
If Karmakar is able to include this new addition to her armoury, she will certainly stand in good stead to win medals for India this coming year.