Asian Games: Dipa still not 100 percent, need to fight fear factor, says coach Nandi

A knee injury has kept the 24-year-old out of competition since her historic fourth-place finish at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Published: 23rd May 2018 08:10 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd May 2018 08:10 PM   |  A+A-

Gymnast Dipa Karmakar with coach  Bisweswar Nandi | File | PTI

Gymnast Dipa Karmakar with coach Bisweswar Nandi (File | PTI)


NEW DELHI: Eyeing Asian Games glory nearly two years after a rare death-defying stunt in sport's biggest stage, gymnast Dipa Karmakar will still need to overcome the "fear factor" that plays out in the mind of an athlete following a career-threatening injury, feels her coach Bisweshwar Nandi.

A knee injury has kept the 24-year-old out of competition since her historic fourth-place finish at the 2016 Rio Olympics, in which she landed her 'Produnova' perfectly enough to emerge among the top eight.

The recovery has been slow ever since she underwent an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) surgery in April 2017, but now she is "almost there", and the Asian Games is still some months to go.

"I would say she is about 90 percent fit now. She will start taking full load from next month onwards," Nandi told PTI.

The coach had pulled Dipa out of the Commonwealth Games trial as she was nowhere near full fitness. She was training back home in Agartala for the past one and a half month but the lack of foam pits meant she was not able to practice with full intensity. Nandi confirmed that Dipa will resume training at the start-of-the-art SAI facility here from this week.

For years, the Indian gymnasts have been without a recognised federation, depending solely on SAI's support. The administrative crisis this time led to a delay in the start of the Asian Games training camp. The competition level at Asian Games will be tougher than Commonwealth Games, where Dipa had won an unprecedented bronze four years ago.

"You will have China, Japan and the two Koreas. They all boast of Olympic medallists. So I can't say whether she can win a medal.

She has to peak at the right time and most importantly leave aside the fear factor that she might get injured again.

"As a coach, I know you can't just erase the injury from your memory. It might prevent you from giving your 100 percent but you have to find a way to deal with it," said Nandi.

Dipa, anyway, will not be attempting Produnova - the vault of death - anytime soon, said Nandi.

"It is not the time to try out something new also. So we have to keep focusing on the old moves minus the Produnova," he added.

GS Bawa, the SAI appointed chief national coach, is more optimistic about Dipa's chances at the Asian Games.

"She is a fighter and despite the fact that she is coming back from an injury, she remains our best bet. The Asian level is higher than CWG but she can come up with a surprise medal in vault," said Bawa.

"No doubt past injuries play on your mind but all gymnasts know that it is a dangerous sport. Anything can happen and you have to live with that," he added.

Other medal hopefuls, Ashish Kumar and Aruna Reddy, are training in Tashkent.

Stay up to date on all the latest Sport news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp