Dipa asks for cash instead of BMW; Chamundeswaranath to look into it

Hyderabad District Badminton Association President Chamundeswaranath said he will have a word with the gymnast on the difficulties she is facing in handling the vehicle.

In August, P. V. Sindhu and P. Gopichand received BMW 320 Ds that cost around Rs. 40 lakh each, Sakshi Malik and Dipa Karmakar received compact cross-over BMW X1s priced at around Rs. 30 lakh each.   -  Mohammad Yousuf

Ace gymnast Dipa Karmakar has been placed in a tricky situation over a BMW car presented to her by the Hyderabad District Badminton Association. Dipa, alongwith India's two other medallists from Rio — badminton star P. V. Sindhu and wrestler Sakshi Malik — and Sindhu's coach Pullela Gopichand, received a BMW car in August for her achievement at the Rio Olympics.

Dipa, however, strongly refuted media reports that she wants to return the BMW car to Hyderabad District Badminton Association President V. Chamundeshwarnath who gifted her the BMW. The star gymnast insisted that her decision to return the premier vehicle is only due to maintenance problems that she envisaged facing in her north-eastern state of Tripura.

"There is no showroom or service centre of BMW car in Tripura. If the car developed any technical snag during driving, how would I repair this? There are also not sufficient suitable roads in Agartala and other places of the mountainous state to ply the luxury car," Dipa told IANS.

"Sir (her coach Bisheshwar Nandi) discussed these matters with V. Chamundeshwarnath. He agreed to deposit money equal to a BMW car cost to my bank account. We would be happy whatever amount they give instead of the BMW car," she added.

>WATCH: Dipa Karmakar to return BMW presented by Tendulkar

Dipa, who hails from the state capital of Agartala, said she did not take the decision solely by herself, and the issue was decided collectively by her coach, parents and other family members.

In August, while Sindhu and Gopi received BMW 320 Ds that cost around Rs.40 lakh each, Sakshi and Dipa received compact cross-over BMW X1s priced at around Rs.30 lakh each.

Cricket legend and India's goodwill ambassador at the Rio Olympics, Sachin Tendulkar, handed over the keys of the cars, made by German automaker BMW Group.

"I am now keeping my focus and preparing for the Challengers' Cup in Germany, which is only a month away. I was advised by my coach not to worry about maintaining the expensive gift and focus on the future challenges to come," Dipa remarked.

Hyderabad District Badminton Association President Chamundeswaranath said he will have a word with the gymnast on the difficulties she is facing in handling the vehicle.

"We will discuss with her. Whatever Dipa is comfortable with, we will look into it; if not BMW car," Chamundeswaranath told. "The idea of gifting cars to the sportspersons was to encourage them to do better," he said.

The 23-year-old Tripura girl, who became the first Indian woman gymnast to qualify for the Olympics, finished fourth in the final round of the women's vault event at the Rio Games. She scored 15.066 points, a mere 0.150 less than eventual bronze medallist Giulia Steingruber (15.216) of Switzerland, and missed out on a podium finish by a whisker.