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India’s star gymnast Dipa Karmakar out of national squad for next month’s world championships

Dipa Karmakar (credit: Olympics.com)
Dipa Karmakar (credit: Olympics.com)
Navneet Singh
EXPERT

India’s star woman gymnast Dipa Karmakar has failed to qualify for the next month’s prestigious World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, scheduled to be held in Japan.

The 28-year-old Tripura gymnast was unimpressive in the national selection trials conducted by the Gymnastics Federation of India (GFI) on September 14 and 15 here at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Sports Complex.

The national selection trials were the last chance to qualify for the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships to be held from October 18 to 24 in Japan.

Dipa was among the 16 elite Indian female gymnasts who competed at the national selection trials.

“She was leading the group on the first day of the trials on September 14 but pulled out the next day on September 15. Since Dipa didn’t compete on both days of the national selection trials, her average score wasn’t enough to fetch her place in the top three mandatory to represent India at the next month’s World Gymnastics Championships,” said a GFI official associated with the national selection trials.

Aruna Budda Reddy (Telangana), Praniti Das (Railway) and Shraddha Saipath Talekar (Maharashtra) are the three gymnasts selected by the GFI for the world competition.

Dipa’s plans to make a comeback to competitions post a recurring knee injury in 2019, didn’t go on the expected lines as she failed to make the national team, said a national level coach.

In 2016, the 28-year old artistic gymnast from Tripura became the first Indian female to compete at the Rio Olympic Games. She finished fourth in women’s vaulting event at the Rio Olympic Games.

Dipa’s personal coach Bishweshwar Nandi didn’t respond to calls or text messages.

Dipa Karmakar is India's most successful female gymnast on the world stage

The Rio Olympic Games was a high point of Dipa’s sporting career. Her sterling performance in women’s vault event at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games also raised India's gymnastics profile at the world level.

Dipa has been confered with Arjuna and Khel Ratna awards. She became the first Indian gymnast to win a gold medal at the 2018 World Challenge Cup in Turkey. Thereafter, the Tripura gymnast has been struggling with her form due to a niggling knee injury.

Dipa first got injured in 2017 and pulled out of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. She also withdrew from the final of the artistic event at the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games due to the knee injury.

She made a comeback in 2019, but recurring knee pain dashed her hopes to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games. Failing to qualify for the next month’s world competition in Japan, said a national coach, has raised doubts about Dipa's fitness.

“Since Dipa is struggling with her fitness, it will be challenging task for her to make a comeback to competition in 2022 season,” said the coach.

Edited by Rohit Mishra
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