Dipa Karmakar: Olympic qualification criteria is tough for us

Updated: Jan 23, 2019, 12:06 IST | Subodh Mayure

Karmakar also revealed how she got inspired by badminton star Saina Nehwal after a knee surgery after the Rio games.

Dipa Karmakar: Olympic qualification criteria is tough for us
Cricket great Sachin Tendulkar at India’s star gymnast Dipa Karmakar’s book launch in a city hotel yesterday. PIC/SHADAB KHAN

Karmakar, India’s only gymnast who made it to the final round at the 2016 Rio Olympics, has revealed that it is going to be very tough to earn Olympic qualification as its criteria has changed.
However, the Agartala girl, who for the last three weeks, has been training hard at Aakar Gymnastic Hall in Kalyan, is optimistic about overcoming all qualification obstacles.

“I will be competing in the Olympic qualification event (World Cup in March). The criteria is very tough for countries like us, who are not well developed in gymnastics. But, I am preparing and trying at my best,” said Karmakar at the launch of her book, Dipa Karmakar — The Small Wonder, at a suburban hotel yesterday.

Karmakar revealed how she got inspired by badminton star Saina Nehwal after a knee surgery after the Rio games.

“I made a comeback after surgery conducted by Dr Anant Joshi. Saina Nehwal also had undergone surgery during that period so I told myself that if she (Nehwal) could make a successful comeback, why not me. I used to tell myself that I have to make a comeback at any cost and I want to thank Dr Joshi for providing me good support. I made a comeback and won gold and bronze at the World Cup (artistic gymnastics World Challenge Cup at Mersin, Turkey in July 2018),” she said.

Cricket should be in the Olympics: Sachin
Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, who was chief guest at Dipa Karmakar’s book launch, wants cricket to be included in the Olympics. “Being a cricketer, I will say that the game needs to be globalised, without doubt. I was at the 2016 Rio Olympics and spoke to Mr Thomas Bach (IOC president) and I told him that I feel cricket should be included (in the Olympics). He (Bach) was under the impression, five days how can we (wait). Cricket is one of those few sports where there are multiple versions – one-day, T20, T10. The game should be there (in the Olympics), being a cricketer I would want that to happen. I am looking forward to it, without any doubt,” he said.

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