Dipa Karmakar, who had to give up the dangerous Produnova routine due to knee injury, has stated that she would switch back to the routine after the Asian Games. She pointed out that Asian Games would be a tough competition for her and she would have to score higher to grab a medal at the Asiad.
Forced to dump the dangerous Produnova routine following a career-threatening knee injury, ace Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakar would once again switch to the 'vault of death' after the Asian Games. Karmakar had put Indian gymnastics on world map with her gravity-defying display in Produnova vault at the 2016 Rio Olympics, where she finished a creditable fourth.
However, she couldn't compete in any tournament after the Rio high due to an Anterior Crucial Ligament (ACL) injury in her right knee. She had to undergo surgery in April last year and consequently missed the Asian Championship, World Championship in Canada last year, and the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.
Returning to action at the World Challenge Cup in Turkey on July 8, Karmakar opted for Handspring 360 and Tsukuhara 720 to clinch gold medal at the event and scripted history by becoming the first Indian gymnast to clinch a gold medal at a global event. However, Karmakar asserted that she would not give up Produnova.
"I will do it but it will take time. 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," Dipa told PTI on Tuesday.
Her mentor and coach Bisheshwar Nandi, who has guided her career since her first steps in gymnastics, said there would not be much time to try it at the upcoming Asian Games but he has been hopeful she will switch back to Produnova by the year end.
"I will try for Produnova by the end of this year because sometimes she feels pain in her knee even now. It is a complicated sport and it is natural but she will overcome that," he said. "According to the new code of points, the difficulty level of Produnova has been reduced to 6.4 from 7, but we will keep it as we have worked hard on this for the last few years."
Karmakar scored 14.15 to clinch the gold medal in Turkey but said she would need to score higher to win a medal at the Asian Games. She stated that she would work on her weakness to emerge victorious at the Asiad.
"Asian Games is very tough. China, Japan, Korea will pose a big challenge. I can't guarantee a medal. But I will give my best. I realised where I lacked during the World Cup. I will work on those areas. In 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.
Asked if she ever felt disheartened during the injury phase, Karmakar said, "I was nervous because a lot happens in two years. Body changes. Difficulty levels also changed. It took a lot of mental and physical strength but I had no doubt about my comeback.”
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