Rio Olympics’ fourth place finisher in vault Dipa Karmakar’s return to competitive gymnastics will be the biggest highlight of the two-day selection trials for the Asian Games starting at the Kalinga Stadium here on Tuesday.
The Tripura gymnast, whose 21-month suspension for a positive dope test ended on July 10, has reportedly been training for the last few months with an aim to make a comeback in the continental extravaganza.
It will be interesting to see how the World Cup, Commonwealth Games and Asian championships medallist Dipa, who struggled with injuries for some time and will turn 30 next month, tackles the challenge of competing with younger gymnasts.
An Asian medallist and a vault specialist like Dipa, Olympian Pranati Nayak, who gave a below par performance in the Asian championships in Singapore last month, will try to improve her showing and stake her claim in the Asian Games squad.
A mix of young and experienced gymnasts, including Yogeshwar Singh, Rakesh Patra, Ashish Kumar, Satyajit Mondal, Saif Tamboli, Pranati Das and Protistha Samata, will also seek to earn Asiad berths.
A total of 39 male and female gymnasts have been shortlisted for the trials.
Apart from selecting the Asian Games squad, the Gymnastics Federation of India will also pick core probables for National camps and upcoming international competitions.
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