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Pranati Nayak's long-time coach disappointed over the gymnast's Olympics performance

Pranati Nayak's outing at Tokyo Olympics has brought disappointed her long-time coach Minara Begum. She feels Pranati could've tried harder.

Indian gymnast Pranati Nayak at Tokyo Olympics

Pranati Nayak (Source- Getty)


Md Imtiaz

Updated: 25 July 2021 1:54 PM GMT

India's lone gymnast at Tokyo Olympics, Pranati Nayak's campaign ended on her first day of action at the Games as she failed to qualify for the All-Round finals of the Artistic Gymnastics competition.

The 26-year-old hailing from West Bengal's Midnapore district registered a score of 42.565 over the four categories — floor exercise, vault, uneven bars, and balance beam — finishing with an overall rank of 29 at the end of subdivision 2.

She scored 10.633 in floor with a difficulty of 4.400 and execution of 6.233, before producing a score of 13.466 in vault with a difficulty of 5.000 and execution of 8.466.

In uneven bars, she came up with a score 9.033 with a difficulty of 4.100 and execution of 4.933, while in balance beam, she had a score of 9.433 with difficulty 4.500 and execution 4.933.

However, Nayak's outing has brought disappointment to her long-time coach Minara Begum, who was sad that Nayak did not even try for the second vault and perform the Handspring Front Salto 360 turn could have strengthened her chances to go into the finals. In a Facebook post shared by Begum, she expressed her agony over the decision on why Nayak was not allowed to perform the second vault.

Pranati Nayak, during her campaign today, decided not to compete for a second vault which indicated she didn't intend to try for a vault final.

Begum then went on to describe how she wanted Pranati, whom she had trained for 18 years since 2003, to try and bring a medal.

Here's what she wrote:

"Today I cried when I saw Pranati's performance, specially in the Vault Table where she didn't try for the second vault and perform the Handspring Front Salto 360 turn. I don't understand why didn't she take the opportunity of the second vault. It would have helped her to qualify for the finals. I don't know whose decision it was not to perform the second vault, this decision has deprived India .It was my dream for the last 18years to bring a medal for India but today everything got shattered due to a wrong decission.Normally Coach is supposed to decide everything about the performance and when a Coach who is a beginner with no experience is sent to Olympic Podium this is what happens .We had two vaults and she was asked to perform only one .The new Coach was unable to deliver his duties and our country is at a loss as well as my Coaching .Pranati should have qualified for the finals ,Imagine she won a medal in Senior Asian Championship 2019 and today she didn't qualify for the finals in Olympics .Olympics is not a joke and it is place where we are supposed to give the best we have and My student Pranati Nayak was not allowed to do so.Pranati is a Fighter but today she did not fight as she used to for me the reasons are unknown"

Incidentally, Minara Begum was aggrieved when she came to know Nayak would be assisted by her newly appointed coach Lakhan Manohar Sharma at the Tokyo Olympics.

In February 2019, Minara retired from the Sports Authority of India (SAI) but she continued to be Pranati's coach. Senior Asian Artistic Gymnastics Championships held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia during April 2019 and World Championship at Stuttgart during October 2019. Sharma, who just assisted Pranati with online training during the lockdown in 2020, now has recommended his name, who will be going to Tokyo along with Nayak.

In an exclusive conversation with The Bridge, the 61-year-old veteran coach said had earlier told, " I have simply been a victim of politics. I have trained Pranati since 2003. There is no such rules that even I am retired from SAI, I cannot coach Nayak personally. If you see, Nayak's performances in the Asian Championships, where she won a bronze and also World Championships, because of which she qualified for the Tokyo Olympics, she was with me at the time. How can everyone forget my contribution overnight and give Sharma credit?"

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