Dipa: My confidence is high

After returning to the country from Rio de Janeiro, the vault champion told Sportstar: "Surely, my confidence is up after the good showing and I am happy about it."

Dipa Karmakar thanked her mentor Bisbeshwar Nandi and Sports Authority of India after arriving in New Delhi on Thursday.   -  PTI

Since somersaulting to glory and ensuring her return journey to Rio de Janeiro by becoming the first Indian woman gymnast to qualify for the Olympics, Dipa Karmakar’s life has taken a massive transformation in less than a week.

A hectic schedule and a spate of media requests for interviews may not be a usual part of Dipa’s lifestyle but she maintains her composure to handle all this with ease. She knows how to maintain her balance and that is what has helped her achieve newer highs in her lone journey.

“It is normal to have media attention (when someone achieves something). People know sportspersons because of media and we need to speak to you. There is nothing to learn (about handling media). You ask your questions, we answer them,” Dipa told Sportstar with nonchalance after landing here from Rio on Thursday.

No pressure

Even as two Gymnastics Federation of India (GFI) factions sensed an opportunity and jostled to be in the limelight, Dipa was least interested about it. The 22-year-old, who became the first Indian to make it to the Olympics after 1964, was aware of the mounting expectation but refused to crumble under its weight. “I do not feel any pressure. I am just trying to give my best (in the Olympics).”

That she was tied at the top with European champion Giulia Steingruber on 15.066 points in vault in the qualification stage and did a 14.833 to win the yellow metal made Dipa a top contender for a medal in the Olympics.

Such strong performances in a highly competitive field in the Test event in Rio has boosted Dipa’s confidence manifold. “Surely, my confidence is up after the good showing and I am happy about it.”

Dipa, who has proved her worth by bagging bronze medals in vault in the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2015 Asian championship and by finishing fifth in the World championship, is looking to fine-tune her skills further. “Now I will focus on the execution part.”

Dipa’s long-time coach B. S. Nandi agreed. “She has to improve in certain areas to perform even better in the Olympics. I will sit with some other coaches and Sports Authority of India (SAI) officials to find the best training facilities for her in the run-up to the Olympics,” he said.