Regaining form a priority for Olympian gymnast Dipa Karmakar

Indian back in training and focussed on fitness ahead of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics

By Subhayan Dutta

Returning to training for the first time in the five-and-half-months since the national lockdown was imposed, Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakar’s priority now is to regain her old form.

The Rio 2016 Olympian is training at the Netaji Subhash Regional Coaching Centre (NSRCC) indoor stadium in Agartala after the Tripura state government allowed sports centres to run as a part of the lockdown relaxation last week.

Dipa Karmakar was elated to be back and, after keeping up the pace at home for months, is ready to put in the hours.

“Gymnastics is a kind of sport for which you cannot miss training for even a week,” Dipa Karmakar told ANI.

“But during the coronavirus lockdown, I did online coaching to maintain my fitness. I am trying to regain my form," the Produnova vault specialist added.

Indian gymnast and Rio 2016 Olympian Dipa Karmakar has returned to training.

The postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games by a year has given Dipa Karmakar some hope after she spent most of the 2019 season recovering from a knee injury.

Six of the eight gymnastics World Cup events that serve as Olympic qualifiers have been completed. Karmakar is hoping to make the cut through the remaining two, which makes her window of opportunity very slim.

Dipa Karmakar’s coach and Dronacharya awardee Bisweswar Nandi, however, is currently focussed on getting her back to full fitness.

“All events are postponed due to COVID-19,” Bisweswar Nandi told the Indian Express, “As the event schedule comes up, we shall see what can be done.

“Right now, we shall try to return all players to their old performance”, he added.

A Padma Shri, Arjuna and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Awardee, Dipa Karmakar was the first Indian female gymnast to qualify for an Olympics.

She went on to finish fourth at the 2016 Rio Games, narrowly missing an Olympic medal.