Mumbai: Ahead of the Rio Olympics, when athletes and participants from India are seeking training abroad, India’s lone participant in gymnastics after 52 years, Dipa Karmakar chose to train in India refusing offers to to do so in some foreign land.
“We were asked to go abroad for training by the Sports Authority of India (SAI), but I refused it. Even sponsors also approached us but I refused them too…After so many years, an Indian gymnast has come this far and now going to represent the country at Olympics. She has done exceptionally well under Indian coaches, so we have decided to train her in India only,” Dipa’s coach Bireshwar Nandi was quoted as saying by New18.
It may be recalled that Dipa scripted history when she became the first Indian woman gymnast to qualify for Olympics after scoring 14.833 to earn the gold medal in the women’s vaults category in a qualifying event for the Rio Games.
She got the better of 2008 Olympic silver medallist Uzbekistan’s Oksana Chusovitina and is currently brushing her skills under strict vigilance from Nandi at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium in the capital.
Not only Nandi, even Dipa isn’t craving for training abroad, according to her coach. “She trains twice in a day. The first part of her training is from 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon and then the second session from 4:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. She is totally focussed and is a hard-working athlete,” Nandi was quoted.
To ensure Dipa’s success, the SAI has also done its bit by importing modern equipment from France for her training. The gymnast won bronze medal in the Commonwealth Games held at Glasgow in 2014 and also bagged the yellow metal a year later in the Asian Championship staged at Hiroshima, Japan.