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Dipa Karmakar dropped for Asian Games, Gymnastics federation seethes

Dipa Karmakar's name has not been cleared even though she topped the Asian Games trials because of her long period of inaction.

Dipa Karmakar dropped for Asian Games, Gymnastics federation seethes

Dipa Karmakar


Dipankar Lahiri

Updated: 7 Aug 2023 10:59 AM GMT

Star gymnast Dipa Karmakar has been dropped from India's Asian Games 2023 squad because of her long period of absence from international tournaments, but the Indian gymnastics federation is in the dark about the reason for this sudden change of plans.

Dipa Karmakar, whose name was sent by the Gymnastics Federation of India (GFI) in the long list of athletes for the Asiad, has had her name cut before final approval by the Union sports ministry. Pranati Nayak and Pranati Das will be the two women representing India in artistic gymnastics, not Dipa.

But the GFI are seething at this sudden turn of events.

"Dipa Karmakar is the one who deserves to go. Her name was at the top of the long list we forwarded. We do not know on what basis her name has been cut out. We conducted the trials for a specific reason - to evaluate who was in the best position to go. She was the one who topped those trials," GFI president Sudhir Mittal told The Bridge.

"There has been no discussion with us on who should be selected in case the women's gymnastics team has to be brought down to a two-member side," he added.

Dipa Karmakar, whose fourth-place finish in the women's vault final at the Rio Olympics 2016 gave India a new sport to savour, will turn 30 later this month. She has been out of international competition since 2019. She also served a two-year doping ban which ended this year.

But in the national trials held in Bhubaneswar on July 11-12, Dipa, returning to competition, had achieved the first place. In the list shared with the Asian Games organisers, Dipa's name figured in six events - all-round, balance beam, floor exercise, uneven bars, vault and team.

However, the sports ministry's criteria states: "In non-measurable individual sport, the player must have achieved 8th rank in the last 12 months. In sports events where rankings are not maintained or where sportspersons have not been able to improve their ranking on account of reasons like lack of exposure in international tournaments, appropriate criteria must be adopted by NSFs in consultation with the ministry".

The final list of athletes at the 2023 Asian Games is likely to be cleared by the sports ministry on Tuesday.

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