Former national coach Minara Begum, who is also the mentor of Tokyo-bound athlete Pranati Nayak, is vexed by the decision of dropping her from the Olympic contingent. Even after retiring from SAI, she has been working closely with Pranati and was her coach at the 2019 Asian Gymnastics Championship.
Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakar made the headlines during the 2016 Rio Olympics, as she missed the Bronze medal by a whisker. With the Tripura-based athlete out of the scene due to a lack of qualifying events, Pranati Nayak is the lone gymnast from India to have qualified for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
Pranati has been training under the guidance of veteran coach Minara Begum since she was eight and she owes much of her success to her. However, with the Olympics drawing near, the GFI (Gymnastics Federation of India) overlooked Minara as part of India’s contingent to Tokyo. The coach is vexed by the decision and feels really frustrated with the treatment after 18 years of service.
“I’m feeling depressed. What else can I say. Every coach and athlete wants to participate in the Olympics. That remains the biggest dream for anyone associated with the sport. I gave my everything for the sake of Pranati for the past 18 years. Now I am being shown the exit door. Someone else is going in my place. It is really frustrating,” said Minara Begum, as reported by Indian Express.
Although she retired from SAI as a national coach, Minara worked closely with Pranati Nayak and was also her head coach at the 2019 Senior Asian Artistic Gymnastics Championships. As per the development, Lakhan Sharam, a coach working with SAI, has been given clearance for travelling with Pranati to Tokyo.