Gymnast Dipa Karmakar has injured her knee during the vault final the Baku Artistic Gymnastics World Cup. Now the injury has forced her to withdraw from next week’s Doha World Cup. It is being said that the injury may jeopardize the prospects of her Olympic qualification too. She finished last after deciding not to take her second attempt. The Sports Authority of India (SAI) cleared Dipa Karmakar’s participation in the World Cups at Doha and Baku almost at the last moment.

The 25-year-old daughter of a weightlifting coach mesmerised the audience by performing a higher-difficulty ‘Handfront 540’ vault. She claimed a score of 14.466 and 14.133 points in the two qualifying rounds, for an average of 14.299 to qualify for the vault final in the third position. But a knee injury occurred while landing during the first attempt in the final.

“She had some problems in her knee before today’s final. She was feeling some pain yesterday but felt better after working with physio. She attempted the vault finals today but fell on her first vault, aggravating the injury due to undesired landing,” Gymnastic Federation of India (GFI) vice president Riyaz Bhati told PTI.

“She did not attempt the second vault due to the injury and finished her campaign at the Baku World Cup. She will now skip the World Cup in Doha and come back to India for rehabilitation and aim for Asian and World Championships this year,” Bhati added.

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Dipa, who finished fourth at the Rio Olympics, was eyeing for the 2020 Tokyo OlympicsThe two World Cups are part of an eight-event qualifying system for the Olympics under which the gymnasts will be selected based on their top three scores. The Asian Championship is starting from June 13 to 16 in Mongolia while the World Championship is slated from October 4 to 13 at Germany later this year.

“Dipa can still qualify by doing well at World Championship this year,” Bhati said.

The Tripura girl has been practising  gymnastics from the age of six. Born with a flat foot, a barrier for her to go ahead in the sport, the determined sportswoman trained and fought to overcome the challenge.

READ: ‘My Story Had To Be Told To More People’, Dipa Karmakar On Her Book

Dipa had clinched the bronze medal in the vault event at the Artistic Gymnastics World Cup in Cottbus, Germany, in November last year. In April 2017. She had an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) surgery in Mumbai and had to skip the Asian Championships in Thailand in May last year. After a long lay-off of nearly two years due to injury, she clinched the gold medal in the vault event of FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Challenge Cup at Mersin, Turkey last year. She created history by becoming the first Indian gymnast to clinch a gold at a global event. Dipa Karmakar won accolades at Rio for performing the ‘vault of death’ — the Produnova. The category is indeed a challenging one in which the landing is risky and uncertain.

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