Olympian gymnast Dipa Karmakar has written to the Sports Authority of India (SAI) to provide her “relaxation” so that she can participate in the upcoming Hangzhou Asian Games.
Dipa, who was out of action due to injuries in 2017 and 2019 and a 21-month doping violation, returned to competitive gymnastics in the selection trials held in Bhubaneswar on July 11 and 12 and topped the trials.
Dipa, in a letter dated August 5, said although she was not able to compete in the last three years due to unavoidable reasons and could not meet the criteria set by the SAI, she had been training throughout this period and was confident about her fitness.
As per the criteria set on July 10, 2023, “In non-measurable individual sport disciplines, the sportspersons must have achieved 8th rank in the last 12 months. In sports events where rankings are not maintained or where sportspersons have not been able to improve their ranking on account of reasons like lack of exposure in international tournaments, appropriate criteria must be adopted by National Sports Federation (NSF) in consultation with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.”
Dipa requested to consider her case, based on her track record and her ability to surmount challenges, and grant her relaxation for the Asian Games.
A day after its meeting with SAI officials on July 19, the Gymnastics Federation of India (GFI) had written to the SAI director general regarding omission of experienced athletes.
“The SAI officials informed that only two gymnasts are eligible as per the selection criteria. We reviewed the evaluation by the SAI officials and realised that the SAI officials used an entirely new criteria to evaluate the gymnasts which was not consistent with the criteria published by the MYAS. Such an inconsistency in application of selection criteria is resulting in elimination of established gymnasts like Dipa Karmakar, Rakesh Patra, Yogeshwar Singh etc, who have already proved their capability and fulfill the criteria published by MYAS,” said the GFI letter.
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