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Happy To Overcome Odds And Finally Appear For Asian Games Trials: Dipa Karmakar

The Tripura gymnast, who narrowly missed out on a bronze in 2016 Rio Olympics, was making a comeback after 21 months of suspension due to a doping violation.

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Dipa was a part of the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games gymnastics contingent.
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Top Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakar is happy that she has overcome the hardships that have plagued her for the last few years and finally appeared for the trials of the upcoming Hangzhou Asian Games. (More Sports News)

The Tripura gymnast, who narrowly missed out on a bronze in 2016 Rio Olympics, was making a comeback after 21 months of suspension due to a doping violation.

On Tuesday, the 29-year-old Dipa earned the maximum points to emerge on top in the all-around event during the trials to select the squad for the Asian Games at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.

"I am very happy that I could give the trials after the hardships I went through in the last few years," said Dipa after successfully competing in the trials.

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"I think it was a big comeback for me. The performance was OK, though not 100 per cent. But moving forward, I will do my best to give more than 100 per cent," she said.

Dipa was a part of the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games gymnastics contingent, but despite the high expectations, she could not finish on the podium, failing to qualify in her pet event, vault, and ending at fifth in women's balance beam.

Dipa had also pulled out of the women's artistic gymnastics final after injuring her right knee.

She then suffered injuries to her back and knees and was also suspended for a 21-month period, effective until July 10 this year after testing positive for a prohibited substance.

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On Tuesday Dipa, one of the best exponents of the 'Produnova vault', commonly called the vault of death, said, "I was in Agartala doing training for 1 to 1-1/2 months. Over the years, I have overcome problems in my back and knees. Now, if everything goes well, I hope I get selected for Asian Games... then I will try to give more than 100 per cent."

Elaborating on her struggles, she said, "I had two ACL surgeries in 2017 and 2019. Then there was COVID. But all that is past and I want to focus on the future.

My coach (Bishweshwar) Nandi sir has been training me for the last two months. I am very happy that I could give the trials after the hardships I went through."

She added that while several Indians are good in vault like Pranati Nayak and Aruna Reddy, the younger generation coming up should understand that they should be good in all the other apparatuses as well if they want to qualify for the Olympics.

"With so many youngsters coming up, I want that they should train well on all the other apparatuses because if we have to qualify for the Olympic then we have to also focus on all-round gymnastics. So, I think they should train on all four apparatuses," she added.

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