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Dipa has no choice but to excel in Produnova: Coach

Despite a none-too-impressive show at the Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, the “only way” for Dipa to make it to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo is through the Produnova vault.

other sports Updated: Sep 09, 2018 10:02 IST
Sharad Deep
Sharad Deep
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
dipa karmakar,produnova,olympics
New Delhi: Gymnast Dipa Karmakarwith her coach Bisweshwar Nandi poses for photographs with her gold medal, won at Turkey, during a media interaction at Indira Gandhi Stadium, in New Delhi on Tuesday, July 10, 2018.(PTI)

Injury setbacks will not come in the way of ace Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakar’s quest for excellence in the Produnova vault, also called the ‘vault of death’ for its level of difficulty.

Despite a none-too-impressive show at the Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, the “only way” for Dipa to make it to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo is through the Produnova vault.

The Tripura girl has set her sights on the 2019 World Championships, at Stuttgart, Germany from October 4 to 13, where she is hoping to qualify for the Olympics. However, Dipa is not quite sure of her participation at this year’s World Championships in Doha from October 25 to November 3 because of injury.

The top three men’s and women’s teams at the World Championships this year will qualify for the Olympics , while the top nine teams from the 2019 event --- not including teams already qualified in 2018 --- will also qualify for Tokyo.

Dipa’s coach Bisheshwar Nandi, though, is wary of her frequent injuries. Following the 2016 Rio Olympic Games high, where Dipa finished fourth, she suffered an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury in her right knee and had to undergo surgery, forcing her to miss the Asian Championship, the World Championships in Canada and the 2018 Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast.

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On her return, in July this year, Dipa chose the Handspring 360 and Tsukahara 720 vaults en route her gold-winning feat at the World Challenge Cup in Turkey.

But to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, Dipa has no choice but to excel in Produnova. “There is no other way… Produnova vault is the only thing by which she can make it to the 2020 Olympics. It’s risky and dangerous, but we both wish to switch to this (Produnova) again,” Nandi said on Saturday.

“We have spent a lot of time mastering this but after the injury it was difficult. The difficulty level in Produnova has been reduced from 7 to 6.4, and I feel Dipa has a good chance.” He said that by early January next year, Dipa will start her training on Produnova. “It’s a game of uncertainties, but to achieve something in life, one has to take risks,” he said.

Nandi refused to accept that Dipa’s age would be a factor at the 2020 Olympics. Dipa is 25 years old and by the time the Olympic are round the corner, she would be 27, an age when most gymnasts retire, or are nearing retirement.

“Age is not an issue as it’s an era of power gymnastics. Look at the Russia, America, and French gymnasts, who are healthy and strong,” said Nandi, adding, “My mission for Dipa is till the 2022 Asian Games.”

First Published: Sep 09, 2018 09:44 IST