Dipa Karmakar Still Not Fully Fit For Asian Games, Says Coach Nandi

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Still recovering from a surgery, Gymnast Dipa Karmakar is now eyeing Asian Games glory. “I would say she is about 90 per cent fit now. She will start taking full load from next month onwards,” her coach Bisweshwar Nandi told PTI.

Dipa won accolades at the Rio Olympics for performing the ‘vault of death’ — the Produnova. The category is indeed a challenging game in which the landing is risky and uncertain. Nearly two years after a rare death-defying stunt in sport’s biggest stage, she is still in fear – no not because of the climax, but because she needs all the strength in her legs.

According to her coach, Dipa still needs to overcome the “fear factor” that plays out in the mind of an athlete following a career-threatening injury.

Also Read: Dipa Karmakar, Sakshi Malik And Alia Bhatt In Forbes’ Under-30 Achievers’ List

She skipped the World Gymnastics Championships last year as she is recovering slowly from a knee surgery. All is not well with the 24-year-old stellar gymnast since her historic fourth-place finish at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Who can forget her supercool ‘Produnova’ perfectly landing — thereby emerging among the top eight in Rio Olympics

She may have missed the Olympic bronze medal by a whisker, but the nation would always remember her triumphs. She is the first Indian woman gymnast to qualify for the Rio Olympics 2016, cracking the long overdue participation drought.

Dipa underwent the knee surgery in April 2017. She could not take part in the Asian Championships earlier that year due to the anterior crucial ligament (ACL) injury. But now she is “almost there”, and the Asian Games is still a few months to go. Dipa was out of the Commonwealth Games trial too.

READ: Dipa Karmakar – The First Indian Woman Gymnast At Olympics, Is Craving For More

“You will have China, Japan and the two Koreas. They all boast of Olympic medallists. So I can’t say whether she can win a medal. She has to peak at the right time and most importantly leave aside the fear factor that she might get injured again. As a coach, I know you can’t just erase the injury from your memory. It might prevent you from giving your 100 per cent but you have to find a way to deal with it,” said Nandi.

If Deepa participates, she will not be attempting Produnova – the vault of death – anytime soon, Nandi confirmed

“It is not the time to try out something new also. So we have to keep focusing on the old moves minus the Produnova,” he added.

G S Bawa, the SAI appointed chief national coach, is more optimistic. He said, “She is a fighter and despite the fact that she is coming back from an injury, she remains our best bet. The Asian level is higher than CWG but she can come up with a surprise medal in vault.”

Read More Stories By Ria Das