24-year old Indian gymnast, Dipa Karmakar, who is making a comeback from an ACL tear in her right knee, is adamant that she is more than capable of winning a medal at the upcoming 2018 Asian Games. Karmakar suffered the injury in 2017 and has been out ever since, missing this year’s CWG as well.
Indian athlete Dipa Karmakar was just 22-year-old when she became the first Indian female gymnast to represent India in the Olympics as she attained the fourth position in Women's Vault Gymnastics event of Rio Olympics 2016 with an overall score of 15.066. Following that historic feat, Karmakar was bestowed with the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award in India by then president, Pranab Mukherjee.
But a serious ACL injury to her right knee post the Rio Olympics meant that Karmakar had to undergo a surgery just 10 days before she could receive the award. However, the young lass from Tripura has recovered from the surgery almost a year after she received the award and can’t wait to start competing again.
“I underwent the surgery on April 2, and on April 11, I was in Delhi. I was to receive the Padma Shri on April 13. I could not walk and had to use crutches. Initially, I thought that I will use a wheelchair but didn’t like the idea of pictures of me being taken in such a position. After all, just a month ago I was fit and strong and my fourth-place finish at the Rio Olympics was still fresh in people’s mind. So I decided I would walk. It was painful but at least the photograph looks good,” Dipa recalled in an interview to The Indian Express.
Dipa had been taking baby steps towards making a comeback since the past year, and when she made the cut for this year’s Asiad she heaved a sigh of relief. Dipa is scheduled to make her comeback at the FIG World Challenge Cup in Mersin, Turkey, which will be held later this week.
“Last year was a terrible year. I had to go through rehabilitation for nearly nine months and could not practice my gymnastics routines. I missed the CWG and I also missed the Asian Championships and the World Championships. I perhaps could have won medals at these competitions but the reality was that I was injured. I was clear about one thing. When I go for my next competition I would not go as a tourist nor be satisfied by reaching the final. I would only go if I know I can give my best and am capable of winning a medal,” Dipa added.
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