After being out of action for almost two years with a career-threatening anterior cruciate ligament injury, ace gymnast Dipa Karmakar has bounced back in style and is now focused on regaining her old form and put up a strong show at the Asian Games in August.
The road from the 2016 Rio Olympics to the World Challenge Cup gold in Turkey last week was the “most challenging” phase for the Tripura girl but she is back in limelight and enjoying her new-found success.
“I could not have thought of a better comeback. I was nervous and afraid of the result as I was competing after a huge gap. My confidence dipped after the injury but now I regained that confidence,” Dipa told this newspaper.
She had to undergo surgery in April last year and missed the Asian Championship, World Championship last year and the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.
Karmakar opted for the Handspring 360 and Tsukuhara 720 routines en route to her gold medal in Turkey and scripted history by becoming the first Indian gymnast to clinch a gold medal at a global event.
“Love to be back in limelight after Rio. I tried new apparatus for the World Challenge and it was easy compared to Produnova but I have no plans to stick to the same in the future.”
Though she ditched the dangerous Produnova vault at the Turkey event as she still has a niggling pain in her right knee, she is mulling a return to her ‘first love’ — the vault of death — after the Asiad.
“May be I will take time to be back doing the Parodunova… it is a difficult vault and that’s why for the time being till I will be 100 per cent fit, I am not practising it. I will be definitely attempting the produnova vault by the end of the year.
“I have spent a lot of time in mastering this but after injury it was difficult. Difficulty level in Produnova has been reduced to 6.4 from 7, in fact average scores in difficulties are being reduced but I’ll be back doing Produnova. I will not give it up,” she added.
Dipa scored 14.15 to clinch the gold medal in Turkey but said she will need to score higher to win a medal at the Asian Games. “I realised where I lacked during the World Cup. I will work on those areas. At the Asian Games, I will have to score more, may be 14.2 or 14.3 will give me a chance to win a medal,” she said.
Talking about her performance at the World Challenge Cup, Dipa said, “I scored 14.15 which is not a bad score, which can hopefully grant me a place in the final of the Asian Games. Of course, increasing difficulty is important but I cannot take too much risk with my leg.” “I will go by what my coach decides,” she concludes....