Dipa Karmakar high on hope to qualify for Tokyo Olympics

Updated: Mar 31, 2020, 07:56 IST | PTI | New Delhi

India gymnast, who has been struggling with knee injury, says postponement of Tokyo Games has reignited her chances of qualifying for the Olympics

India gymnast Dipa Karmakar competes in the women’s vault final at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Pic/Getty Images
India gymnast Dipa Karmakar competes in the women’s vault final at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Pic/Getty Images

The postponement of Tokyo Olympics has come as a ray of hope for injury-ravaged Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakar, who is preparing for another shot at qualification after a niggling knee problem hampered her earlier bid to make the cut.

Karmakar, who finished fourth at the 2016 Rio Olympics, has been struggling with injuries ever since she underwent a surgery to treat an Anterior Cruciate ligament (ACL) injury in 2017. ACL is a key ligament that stabilises the knee joints.

Comeback cut short
Her comeback in 2018 was short-lived as the knee troubled her again at the Artistic Gymnastics World Cup in Baku last year. She was forced to withdraw from the Doha World Cup as well and failed to recover in time for the World Artistic Gymnastics Championship in October, 2019.

"There were eight World cups but now there are only two left, which were supposed to happen in March but got postponed to June due to the Coronavirus outbreak," Karmakar said.

"Given the situation they perhaps will happen next year. So it gives me more time to recover and prepare for the two events," she added.

The COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed thousands and infected lakhs worldwide, forced the postponement of the Tokyo Games last week. Karmakar hoped the extra time to get back to form will come in handy for her.

'Beating COVID-19 is priority'
"I will give my best to return to form and hopefully I can do well and qualify. But having said that, what is important right now is that we defeat this Coronavirus, that is the priority," said Dipa, 26, the first Indian female gymnast to compete in the

Karmakar's long-time coach Bishweshwar Nandi also said this postponement has renewed Karmakar's hopes. "She is fit now. She has completely recovered from the injury but in gymnastics, you have to slowly start the process of training and Dipa had

started her basic practice late last month when this Coronavirus outbreak happened," the Dronacharya awardee said.

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