What odds on an Indian gymnast in an Olympic final? Greater than a peacock-sighting in Copacabana surely?
Indian gymnastics was absent from national imagination, and despite Ashish Kumar's three medals between the 2010 Commonwealth and Asian Games, it was driven into the background due to administrative bickering.
From anonymity and negligence, however came Indian sport's most astonishing story in decades.
Dipa Karmakar's fourth-place finish in the individual vault event at the Rio Olympics was more than a historical mile-marker in Indian sport. It was a rumble-rouser, a rule-buster, a boundary-breaker, an assumption-destroyer. All it had taken was around six-odd seconds several times over - and an athletic lifetime stretching back ten years.
Dipa's ascent through the layers of competition had largely been invisible -- five senior national titles, Asian performances and even her breakthrough bronze medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. It was where she became only the third woman in artistic gymnastics, after its originator, to pull off women's gymnastics' toughest vault - the Produnova.
The handspring double somersault vault -- rarely attempted and even less smoothly executed -- was to become Dipa's signature. Known as the 'vault of death', it is surrounded by the latent threat that awaits anyone who doesn't practice it enough to execute it smoothly. Dipa's coach Bisweshwar Nandi was to make her repeat it hundreds of times before big events and turn it into her strongest suit - the maximum points-gainer of the two vaults she must perform in any competition.
Dipa's Produnova became her vault of accomplishment - medals at the 2014 CWG, the 2015 Asian Championships, a fifth place at the World Championships vaulting event, gold at the Rio Test event and a place in the 29 qualifying spots for the Olympics. Its smooth landing at the Games on day one was to take her into the individual vault final.
On the biggest night of her life, as India sweated, Dipa oozed a detached composure and did her business. She was to up her scores from qualification and give herself a shot.
First vault, the Zamolodchikova - from 14.6 at the qualification to 14.866. With the Produnova, 15.100 in qualification turned into 15.266 in the final. The total 15.066 and for a brief snatch of time, second position, 0.15 points behind the leader. For her to have won any medal, she had needed to bridge the gap with 0.16, but Dipa knew herself that with two gymnasts to go, including the awesome Simone Biles, her scores could be bettered -- and they were.
What will never be erased, however, was the amazement and the joyfulness she brought that Sunday night to every Indian who watched. An outlier in women's gymnastics from one of the remotest corners of her country, showed her countrymen that it was possible to be an insider at the highest level of her vocation.