After missing Commonwealth Games following a career ending injury, Dipa Karmakar will now Eye Asian Games glory. However her coach Bisweshwar Nandi feels that Dipa Karmakar will still need to overcome the fear factor that plays out in the mind of an athlete following a career-threatening injury.
A knee injury has kept her out of the action since 2016 Rio Olympics, where she landed her ‘Produnova’ perfectly enough to finish at the 4th spot, just missing on a medal by whisker.
“I would say she is about 90 percent fit now. She will start taking full load from next month onwards,” Nandi told PTI as reported by Times of India.
Nandi has pulled Dipa out of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games trial as she was not fully fit for the competition. She was training back home in Agartala for the past one and a half month but the lack of foam pits meant she was not able to practice with full energy.
Nandi confirmed that Dipa will resume training at the start-of-the-art SAI facility here from this week.
Nandi talked about the challenges in Asian Games where Dipa will had won an unexpected bronze four years ago.
“You will have China, Japan and the two Koreas. They all boast of Olympic medallists. So I can’t say whether she can win a medal. She has to peak at the right time and most importantly leave aside the fear factor that she might get injured again.
“As a coach, I know you can’t just erase the injury from your memory. It might prevent you from giving your 100 percent but you have to find a way to deal with it,” said Nandi.
Dipa, anyway, will not be attempting Produnova the vault of death anytime soon, said Nandi.
“It is not the time to try out something new also. So we have to keep focusing on the old moves minus the Produnova,” he added.
GS Bawa, the SAI appointed chief national coach, is confident about Dipa’s chances at the Asian Games.
“She is a fighter and despite the fact that she is coming back from an injury, she remains our best bet. The Asian level is higher than CWG but she can come up with a surprise medal in vault,” said Bawa.
“No doubt past injuries play on your mind but all gymnasts know that it is a dangerous sport. Anything can happen and you have to live with that,” he added.
The Asian Games starts 18th August in Indonesia.