Not much has gone right for Dipa Karmakar since winning a gold medal at the Artistic Gymnastics World Challenge Cup in July 2018. A string of injuries has left India’s first ever female gymnast ever to compete in the Olympics in the wilderness, including hurting her chance to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Games. But with the Summer Olympics postponed till 2021, Karmakar has found a second wind and the 27-year-old is eyeing a spot at the Games next year. Also Read - Olympic Medallist Gymnast Shannon Miller Hails Dipa Karmakar for Showing Path to Youngsters
Karmakar has had a history of a troubled knee. After undergoing a surgery for a torn ACL, she returned in 2018 but her stint was short-lived. Karmakar missed the Asian Games and was forced to withdraw from the Doha World Cup, the Artistic Gymnastic World Cup and the World Artistic Gymnastics Championship last year. Also Read - 'Dipa Karmakar: The Small Wonder' Awarded Biography of the Year
“There were eight World cups but now there are only two left, which were supposed to happen in March but got postponed to June due to coronavirus outbreak. Given the situation they perhaps will happen next year. So it gives me more time to recover and prepare for the two events,” Karmakar told PTI in an interview. Also Read - World Artistic Gymnastics Championships: Uphill Battle Awaits Indians
“I will give my best to return to form and hopefully I can do well and qualify. But having said that, what is important right now is that we defeat this coronavirus, that is the priority.”
Her long-time coach Bishweshwar Nandi, under whose guidance, Karmakar finished fourth at Rio Olympics four years ago, has assured that the 2017 Padma Shri awardee is fit, although it will take her time to get back in full groove. Nandi expects Karmakar to hit peak form in the coming months, which promises to keep her Tokyo chances alive.
“She is fit now. She has completely recovered from the injury but in gymnastics, you have to slowly start the process of training and Dipa had started her basic practice late last month when this coronavirus outbreak happened,” Nandi said.
“She will be back to her best in 3-4 months and since there are still two events left, we can take another shot at the Olympics. See, in gymnastics, injuries happen a lot but I’m hopeful that she will take it as a challenge. She will need two silver or one gold and a silver in the two tournaments. We will not leave any stone unturned and I hope she will be able to perform.”