India Celebrates Dipa Karmakar’s Successful Comeback After Two-Year Layoff
Imagine coming back from a career-threatening injury and winning your first international competition after a nearly two-year absence.
That’s what India’s top gymnast Dipa Karmakar just did!
The 24-year-old from the Northeast state of Tripura took first place in the vault at the FIG World Challenge Cup event in Mersin, Turkey.
She clinched her country’s first title in the series with 14.150 points, after also topping the qualification scores (13.400).
A remarkable result given that Dipa suffered an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury after Rio 2016 and underwent surgery.
After her historic comeback win, the Indian star admitted she hadn’t started training seriously until March.
Several Indian personalities celebrated Dipa’s most recent feat on social media.
One of the first to congratulate her was the country’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi:
and cricket legend Virender Sehwag.
India's Gymnastics Trailblazer
In 2016 Dipa became the first Indian female gymnast to compete in the Olympic Games.
Before her, the last athlete to represent the country in the sport was a man, Debasis Mondal, at Tokyo 1964.
In Rio she just missed out on the bronze medal, finishing fourth in the vault competition won by Simone Biles.
Dipa received a final score of 15.066 for executing the Produnova vault, one of the most dangerous moves in gymnastics.
For her commendable performance Karmakar was honoured with the Khel Ratna award by the Indian government.
Dipa had hoped to return to action in time to defend her title at the Commonwealth Games in April, four years after claiming bronze in Glasgow.
The rehabilitation though took longer than expected and she missed the event.
The 24-year-old has been included in the Indian gymnastics team for the upcoming Asian Games in Indonesia.
In Jakarta Dipa will face stiff competition with China’s Liu Jinru, Japan’s Sae Miyakama, and Uzbekistan’s veteran Oksana Chusovitina among her biggest rivals.
After the win in Turkey, Dipa is now confident of her chances:
“Getting back into top gear makes me believe that my knee has healed completely and I should now be able to go all out at the Asian Games” – Dipa Karmakar to PTI