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Dipa Karmakar skips trials, comeback in Commonwealth Games 2018 doubtful

Dipa Karmakar, who finished fourth in the 2016 Rio Olympics, is doubtful for the 2018 Commonweath Games after missing the selection trials due to continued recovery from her knee surgery.

other sports Updated: Feb 12, 2018 23:46 IST
Navneet Singh
Navneet Singh
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Dipa Karmakar,2018 Commonwealth Games,Rio Olympics 2016
Dipa Karmakar, who won the bronze medal in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, underwent knee surgery last April (Getty Images)

India’s top woman gymnast Dipa Karmakar has opted out of the three-day selection trials for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games that began at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex on Monday. The gymnast from Tripura, who finished fourth in the vault event at the 2016 Rio Olympics, has cited a lack of fitness.

The 24-year-old had undergone knee surgery last April and has been undergoing rehabilitation for almost 11 months now. “She has starting training, but not at full throttle. We don’t want to take a chance at the moment as vaulting is very stressful to the injured knee,” said her coach BS Nandi.

Read | Bisweswar Nandi to coach Dipa Karmakar until 2020 Tokyo Olympics

With the Gymnastics Federation of India (GFI) due to select the final team this week, Dipa will not get a chance to showcase her skill and join the national squad. “We will not have another selection during the camp,” said GFI secretary general, Shantikumar Singh.

Dipa could still make it to the CWG. Nandi said artistic events are scheduled to be held from April 5 and that gives him time to evaluate Dipa’s performance and take a final decision. “We will see how things pan out in the coming days and take a call,” he said.

Read | Dipa Karmakar eyes gold, targets medal in 2018 Commonwealth Games

At the 2014 Glasgow CWG, Dipa was the only member of the gymnastics squad to win a medal, claiming bronze in vault. Recovering from knee surgery at 24 to compete is not easy as vault is very taxing on the knees and her chances of participation appear slim.

On Monday, trials were held in rhythmic gymnastics, while selection for the artistic team will be held over the next two days. In Glasgow, Dipa Karmakar had become the first Indian woman gymnast to win a medal at international level. However, she had failed to impress at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games that followed.

In 2015, she won bronze in the Asian championships and placed fifth in the world championships. In 2016, she caught the nation’s attention after qualifying for the Rio Olympics. Eight months later, she injured her knee and opted for surgery.

Nationals in Mohali

Dipa is likely to take time to return, but India’s top gymnasts will compete in the national championships to be held in Mohali from February 16-18. According to Samir Dev, an official of the organising committee, the nationals is being held after four years.

“Due to a legal battle between the warring factions of GFI, the national competition took a back seat,” he said. The Sports Authority of India (SAI) had set up an ad hoc panel to oversee the running of the federation. “Things have settled down,” he added.

First Published: Feb 12, 2018 19:10 IST