Gymnast Dipa Karmakar is still recovering from an injured knee. Her right leg in hurting, and now the injury has forced her to withdraw from the selection trials for next month’s FIG World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Stuttgart, Germany, which will serve as an Olympic qualifier. With this, the 25-year-old’s hopes of competing at the Tokyo Games seem to be almost over.

Key Takeaways

  • Dipa Karmakar had to withdraw from the selection trials being held next month.
  • FIG World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Stuttgart, Germany, serve as an Olympic qualifier, will be held next month.
  • Dipa had claimed a bronze at the vault event of the Artistic Gymnastics World Cup in Germany last year.
  • Dipa’s coach Bisweswar Nandi says that his ward still requires two more months to recover. 

We were in Tripura practicing and those who attended the trials were all in Delhi as part of the national camp. Also, the notification wasn’t signed, so how could you know whether it’s actually been issued by SAI or someone else? – Karmakar’s coach Bisweswar Nandi.

Dipa’s long-time coach Bisweswar Nandi was furious at the Gymnastics Federation of India (GFI) and the Sports Authority of India (SAI) for issuing the notification for trial, which was held on Monday at the IGI stadium, New Delhi, only on Saturday evening. Nandi said that his ward still requires two more months to recover.

“Is this the way to hold the trials? Let us, for a moment, leave Dipa’s injury aside. You send the notification for trials on Saturday evening and then expect the gymnast (read Dipa) to fly down all the way from Tripura on Monday to attend the trials at 8 in the morning. We were in Tripura practicing and those who attended the trials were all in Delhi as part of the national camp. Also, the notification wasn’t signed, so how could you know whether it’s actually been issued by SAI or someone else,” Nandi told TOI.

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

“I tried to contact GFI officials over phone, but none replied,” Nandi alleged. The coach accepted that it would be “very difficult” for Dipa to qualify for Tokyo as the Stuttgart Worlds provided her the best chance to make the cut. “At the next three World Cups, which will be Tokyo qualifiers, a gymnast would have to secure gold in each of three meets to qualify for the Olympics. Honestly, it’s very tough but I will not lose hope. I am preparing Dipa for 2024 Paris Olympics,” he said.

At the trials on Monday, a six-member Indian contingent was selected comprising Ashish Kumar, Yogeshwar Singh and Aditya Rana (men) and Pranati Nayak, Pranati Das and Aruna Budda Reddy (women) for the October 4-13 meet. Monday was the last day to send entries of gymnasts. Dipa, who finished fourth at the Rio Olympics, was eyeing for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

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.

Feature Image credit: NDTV

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