Sports

This Is Why Dipa Karmakar Is Fuming

Gymnast says Asian Games exclusion de-motivating, discouraging

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Dipa Karmakar
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At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Dipa Karmakar became an overnight sensation. ‘Produnova’, the dangerous routine she would perform, became a recognized term in India. Karmakar narrowly missed a medal. But a historic fourth place finish in the women’s vault final made her a household name. 

Since then things haven’t gone particularly well for Karmakar. First, she was penalized for a violation of the anti-doping whereabouts clause. And now, she has been left out of the Asian Games squad even though she topped the trials. The reason is she didn't meet the criteria of a top-eight finish in the last one year. 

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The government’s top-8 rule dictates that athletes' performance in individual events during the last 12 months should not fall below the performance achieved by the eighth position holder in the 2018 Asian Games for measurable sports.

But Karmakar was serving the anti-doping ban for two years. 

"On this Independence Day, I am using my freedom of speech to discuss recent events that have proven to be very demotivating and discouraging. The #AsianGames2023, an event I have eagerly anticipated for the past two years, looks further than it is," Karmakar wrote on X, formerly twitter.

"To my surprise, despite topping the national trials and meeting the @IndiaSports selection criteria, it appears that I will be deprived of the opportunity to participate in the @19thAGofficial."

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Karmakar is particularly upset at what she perceives as a lack of communication from authorities such as the Sports Ministry and Sports Authority of India (SAI).

"Worse still, the reasons behind this decision are unknown to me and have not been communicated officially. Instead, my fellow gymnasts and I are left to read about our exclusion from the Games in the news and I simply don’t know what to make of it.

"The hard work and sacrifice that goes into preparing for major games is rarely appreciated and instead met with uncertainty and deafening silence from Media_SAI and @IndiaSports. All I ask is for the selection criteria to be applied fairly and consistently across all sports. And request that the correct information be conveyed to us so that we don't live in uncertainty. "

Karmakar has not ruled out participating in the Asian Games. 

"In the meanwhile, I owe it to my country to continue my training and I am hopeful that I will be joining @WeAreTeamIndia in Hangzhou next month. Jai hind!"
 

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