Olympian gymnast Dipa Karmakar has left the disappointing episode of her name getting dropped from the Asian Games entry list behind and is preparing herself to earn a Paris 2024 quota place.
The 30-year-old Dipa, who secured a historic fourth-place finish in vault in the 2016 Rio Olympics, served a 21-month doping suspension before making a comeback to competition and topping the selection trials in Bhubaneswar in July.
Despite being selected for the Asian Games by the Gymnastics Federation of India, she was not included in the final list released by the Sports Ministry as she did not meet the criteria.
“It’s part of life. If we knew about the circular (specifying the selection criteria), our competition style would have been different. I don’t have any problems with it. For one or two days, I was down. Then, sir (my coach Bishweshwar Nandi) and my parents were there to encourage me,” Dipa said during an interaction on the sidelines of the Techno Olympica Knight, a sports event by Techno India Group, here on Monday.
Dipa said she was trying her best to claim a spot in the Paris Olympics.
“Most of the qualifying spots were there in the World championships in September. I could not participate in that. Some World Cups are coming up. Those will be really tough, because now probably Russian and Belarusian athletes will be allowed (to compete). Russia is a top country, the competition will be tougher. But I will give my 100 per cent.”
Apart from the chance to qualify for individual apparatus in World Cups, Indian gymnasts will get an opportunity to qualify in the all-around discipline at the continental event.
Dipa, who was troubled by several injuries in the past and was ninth in the World Cup in Hungary in September in vault, is taking care not to hurt her knees during her training at Agartala.
“I think of saving my knees because surgery has been done twice. Apart from two surgeries (to my right knee due to ACL issues), the ankle issue was there. I cannot train as forcefully as I was doing earlier. I’m fully fit now. It’s very tough, but I’m giving my 100 per cent so that I can get a medal before retiring from gymnastics,” said Dipa.
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