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The Produnova Vault is also called the vault of death, there are very few gymnasts that will even risk trying it. The Produnova vault is the most difficult and dangerous jump any gymnast can attempt on the vault. It gets it’s name from Russian gymnast Yelena Produnova who was the first female gymnast to ever successfully land the difficult move on her feet in 1999!

Produnova Vault

Illustration Courtesy

So what is a Produnova?

The Produnova is a front handspring off the vault table followed by two and a half somersaults, which is a very risky move because gymnasts who don’t reach the height needed for the somersaults risk serious injury.

But because of it’s difficulty the Produnova vault can earn a gymnast a high score even if they don’t do a great job at executing it. But according to the Wall Street Journal the gymnastics’ international governing body will reduce the vault’s scoring next year  to prevent gymnasts unable to cleanly execute the difficult and risky move from attempting it in competition just to gain points.

Here’s a video of Elena Produnova attempting the difficult move in 1999 and the one below of India’s Dipa Karmaker attempting it at the Rio Olympics, who did a pretty good with her landing by the way.