Ace gymnast Dipa Karmakar is set to represent India in the upcoming World Cups at Baku, Azerbaijan and Doha, Qatar. She says for her, every competition is very tough but she doesn’t feel pressurised…writes Natalia Ningthoujam
Ahead of the competitions that will start from March 14, Karmakar told IANS in a telephonic interview: “Training has been going well. I was training in Agartala (Tripura – her home state) all this while. I will try my best to do well there.”
For her, all the championships are the same.
“We are always on the field. Whether it is Olympics or any world championship, all are the same. For us, every competition is very tough,” said the young sports star.
But she maintains that there is no pressure.
“The performance of players either goes up or down. It has always been like that. For instance, I didn’t do well at the Asian Games… whatever was the reason,” she said referring to her disappointing fifth spot in the women’s balance beam final at the 18th Asian Games last year.
“But I have no pressure. I have to do my best, I need to feel satisfied myself first,” added Karmakar, who bagged the gold in the women’s vault event at the Artistic Gymnastics World Challenge Cup in Mersin in Turkey in 2018.
Like her competitors from Russia and the US, her aim is to get good scores that can lift her to a podium finish.
Talking about ups and downs, Dipa had to sit out for almost two years after undergoing surgery for Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury in 2017.
“I wasn’t training in between… For a sports person to be outside the field… it’s very difficult,” she said.
The 25-year-old hogged the limelight after her performance at the Rio Olympics in 2016. Though she narrowly missed out on the bronze in women’s vault at the international sport event, it did bring gymnastics — a sport that is not so popular in India — into focus.
Among various honours, Barbie presented a one-of-a-kind doll to Karmakar. On Barbie’s 60th anniversary on March 9, the brand honoured more than 20 women, including Karmakar, across multiple countries and continents ranging from 19 to 85 years old.
This is the largest and most diverse line-up of women honoured by Barbie to date and a continuation of the ‘Shero’ programme launched in 2015.
“I’d like to thank them for this honour. I am very happy,” she said.
Talking about her doll, she said with excitement: “I really liked it…the red costume, she is even wearing clips like mine and the medal.”
Last year, a book titled “Dipa Karmakar: The Small Wonder (India’s First Ever Female Gymnast to Compete in the Olympics)” was also unveiled. What’s next – a film on her life?
“That…my coach Bisweshwar Nandi Sir would know. If Sir wants that a film should be made on my life, then it will happen,” said the youngster, who took an interest in gymnastics when she was just five years old.