Dipa ready to vault to great heights after injury setback

The ace gymnast, who missed the Rio Olympics bronze medal by a whisker, is preparing for the Cottbus World Cup in Germany starting on November 22.

Dipa was forced to pull out of the artistic team finals in Asian Games in August this year after her knee injury flared up again.   -  Getty Images

After the disappointment of Asian Games, Dipa Karmakar is itching to get back into the groove.  The ace gymnast, who missed the Rio Olympics bronze medal by a whisker,  has recovered from her injury and is preparing for the Cottbus World Cup in Germany starting on November 22 — a qualifying event for the Tokyo Olympics.

“I am fully fit now and looking forward to competing in Germany,” Dipa told Sportstar in Bhubaneswar, where she was one of the speakers at the Ekamra Sports Literary Festival.

The 25-year-old, who became synonymous with the Produnova after its successful execution in Brazil in 2016, was forced to pull out of the artistic team finals in Asian Games in August this year after her knee injury flared up again. She had also failed to qualify for the vault final.

A month before the Asiad, the Tripura-born Dipa had clinched the gold medal in the vault event of FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Challenge Cup in Mersin, Turkey. It was her first event in nearly two years.

Regaining confidence

“That gold gave me a lot of confidence,” she said. “My training for the Germany event is going on pretty well. But the competition is going to be tough there, as some very good gymnasts will be participating.”

Her coach Bishweshwar Nandi is optimistic of a good show. “After recovering from the injury, she has to get back to her best,” he said. “We are working on some new exercises. The event in Germany is one of the eight that are available for Olympic qualification. We have not decided yet which other events she would compete in.”

Dipa said she was glad that new talented gymnasts have begun to emerge from India. “It is great to see girls like Aruna Reddy and Pranati Das are doing well,” she said. “I am happy that I could help Indian gymnastics garner limelight.”

A book on her would be out, soon. “Yes, it is nice that a book is being written about me. All this has made me feel more responsible.”