Gymnastics coach Bishweshwar Nandi, who guided Dipa Karmakar to an unprecedented fourth-place finish in the Rio Olympics in 2016, was named as the Indian women’s team coach for the upcoming Commonwealth Games on Monday.
Bishweshwar replaces Rohit Jaiswal, who was vacated from his position after gymnast Aruna Budda Reddy accused him that he video-graphed her without consent. “I’ve done my biometrics a day before and I am expecting my Visa to arrive by tomorrow. I will join the team by July 29,” Nandi told PTI from the national camp in New Delhi.
Bisheshwar’s career in gymnastics began way back in 1970. “I started at a nearby school ground in 1970. There was no facility at that time. Bikram Kishore Deb Barma, who was trained by our guru Dalip Singh, spotted me. I started gymnastics on the grassy ground under the watchful eyes of R. R. Roy. After three-four months, I was taken to the Netaji Subhash Regional Coaching Centre (NSRCC) under the direct guidance of Dalip Singh, who used to send coaches to different schools to spot talented kids.”
He would later quit the Border Security Force (BSF), to become a gymnastics coach in Tripura’s sports department, alongside his wife Soma, who worked with the Sports Authority of India (SAI) as a coach.
Nandi also said he would oversee every member of the squad equally as he has seen their progress from close quarters.
“It would not be an issue as I’ve known them for many years now,” he added. While an injury-plagued Karmakar has gone off the radar, Nandi’s ward Protistha Samanta will also be in contention in Birmingham.
“I have my ward Protistha whom I have trained over the years and she is also quite promising after her World Cup stint in Egypt and Azerbaijan earlier this year.”
The Indian Gymnastics Squad: Men’s: Satyajit Mondal, Yogeshwar Singh and Saif Tamboli.
Women’s: Pranati Nayak, Ruthuja Nataraj, Protishta Samanta, Bavleen Kaur.
With inputs from PTI