Dipa Karmakar's Gold at Gymnastic World Challenge Cup may turn a page in Indian Gymnastics
Indians had almost begun to forget the “Pradunova” girl Dipa Karmakar but the girl’s gold-winning effort at Gymnastics World Challenge Cup has brought gymnastics back in the news. Dipa, who missed an Olympic medal by a whisker, added another first to Indian Gymnastic by winning a Gold medal in Vault event at the Gymnastics World Cup. Dipa Karmakar also ended fourth in balance beam event. She has proven again that she is a world-class gymnast.
Dipa’s fourth finish at the Rio Olympics was a historic first for any Indian gymnast. She made more news when Sachin Tendulkar gifted her brand a new BMW car which she eventually had to return as the roads of her town Agartala are not quite ready for BMWs as yet.
The gold at highly competitive World Cup event is a fruition of Dipa Karmakar’s sheer grit and perseverance. With this, she has raised a hope for an Olympic medal at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.
Genuine sports lovers would recall being glued to the TV screens to watch her attempting the dreaded ‘Pradunova’ vault something that even the Olympic Champion Simone Biles did not attempt. The whole country celebrated her historic fourth finish but it also uncovered our ‘national’ desire for an individual Gold at Olympic. Unfortunately, in absence of proper training, facilities, and intrusion of politics in sports, the coveted Olympic Gold may still remain elusive.
Indian Gymnastics today is pretty much a “one girl” show somewhat like women’s Tennis which has been all about Sania Mirza. The individual heroics in sports do not translate into the emergence of a ‘sports culture’ but it does show that there is a potential that needs to be recognized, tapped and nurtured.
Dipa Karmakar shall be extended every possible support and more importantly the support from her fellow compatriots. Her vaults can catapult India into a different league at this highly competitive sport. All she needs is an encouragement and who knows she may add another first to India's basket with a gold lining this time.