Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakar who returned a BMW presented by Sachin Tendulkar, citing monthly maintenance in Tripura as the problem, will be using the exchanged funds to attend international events. This comes at the wake of reports highlighting the Gymnastics Federation of India’s (GFI) inability to send the Vaulter for all major events in a calendar year.
Speaking exclusively to Sportskeeda, Coach Bisheshwar Nandi said, “I’m not aware of the GFI’s situation, but we plan to use the money to buy a relatively cheaper car, and use rest of the funds for Dipa’s travel expenses for other events. This will help her gain more exposure and help us prepare for further events. Other expenses such as Physiotherapy etc also we will look into. However, we will buying a car as well.”
Earlier, sources close to GFI had notified Sportskeeda about a potential fund shortage within the association. However, Coach Nandi confirmed that even if such a problem exists, the government will be quick to rectify it. He said, “I’m sure the Sports Ministry will be willing to help us, if a problem does arise. However, the more the funds for her career the better, we can even attend smaller tournaments if required with it.”
Dipa is all set to return to competition for the first time post Rio, at the Challenger Cup in Cottbus, Germany. Coach Nandi added, “She has almost had a one month break, now she’s fully focussing on Gymnastics and no other commercial commitments. We want to win major international titles this year, so that she can become seeded in the circuit. For that we need money, which will get us to play those many. We should be attending at least 10 international events a year, compared to the 3-4 we usually attend annually. So, her body also has to adapt equally, the Challenger’s Cup is our first tournament, we hope for nothing but the top spot.”
Personal commitments, including Durga Puja with the family for the first time in six years also, postponed her return to competition. However, she is keen to start with a first placed finish, she said, “Sir has increased my intensity from day one, so now I’m getting tired quicker, but by the time the tournament comes I will be used to the level of competition.”
GFI is all set to announce the squad for the event next week.