Rio 2016 | I feel that we are carrying the dreams of a billion Indians, says Dipa Karmakar’s coach

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Rio 2016 | I feel that we are carrying the dreams of a billion Indians, says Dipa Karmakar’s coach

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SportsCafe Desk

08/06/2016

Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakar’s coach Bisweshwar Nandi believes that his 22-year-old ward is carrying the dreams of a billion Indians at the ongoing Rio Olympics. Dipa Karmakar, who will be participating in her first Olympics, will be seen in action tomorrow in the women’s individual all-round event.

Dipa Karmakar, who finished fifth in her favourite vault event in the World artistic gymnastics championships at Glasgow in October last year, qualified for the Olympics a few months ago after producing a stunning performance at the test event for the Rio Games. She also clinched the gold at the event and was named a ‘Gymnaste de Classe Mondaile’ (World class gymnast) by the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) last month.The 22-year-old from Tripura has an outside chance of winning a medal in her favourite vault event, but her coach Bisweshwar Nandi said that his ward is under a lot of pressure to win a medal at Rio.

I am under so much pressure. Everyone in India is expecting Dipa to create history in Rio."

Bisweshwar Nandi

"I am under so much pressure. Everyone in India is expecting Dipa to create history in Rio," Nandi told Reuters in an interview after he watched Karmakar soar into the air as she practiced her trademark vault in the Rio Olympic Arena.

"I feel that we are carrying the dreams of a billion Indians who just cannot understand how difficult it is for Dipa to get a medal here," he said.

"Because Dipa won the vault gold in the Rio test event in April, the entire country thinks she will come back home with a medal."

Also, read : Dipa Karmakar | The girl who climbed many a mountain to reach the sky

Nandi added that winning a medal at the event will be very tough for Dipa with the best in the business scheduled to perform at Rio.

There is just so much hope and expectation in India, I just don’t know how to deal with all this heavy burden."

"What people in India don’t understand is that the four girls who finished ahead of her at last year’s world championships were not at the test event because they had already qualified for the Olympics," added the coach whose own gymnastic dreams stalled with appearances in the Asian and Commonwealth Games in the 1970s.

"This is really giving me sleepless nights because medals can disappear by 0.001 of a point. There is just so much hope and expectation in India, I just don’t know how to deal with all this heavy burden."

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