‘Fan’ Sachin launches Dipa’s biography ‘The Small Wonder’

Sports Reporter
Thursday, 24 January 2019

The difficulty level in Produnova has been reduced to 6.4 from 7 and the point system has become more complicated. So, it is important to try out a new move and fetch more points. I agree that Produnova was my strength, but I have to move on. I need one good move so that I can fetch more points and that’s the only objective at the moment. That will help me in the World Championships, Asian Games or the Commonwealth Games. — Dipa Karmakar (Olympian gymnast)

Mumbai: Sachin Tendulkar on Tuesday lavished praise on gymnast Dipa Karmakar for motivating youngsters in the country to take up Olympic sports after she did something that very few attempted.

Dipa Karmakar won millions of fans when she finished fourth in the finals of vault events in Gymnastics at the Rio Olympics in 2016. One of these fans was certainly Sachin Tendulkar.

Tendulkar recalled that moment when Dipa Karmakar performed the famous ‘Produnova’ vault at the Rio Olympics finals.

“Only so far seven athletes have attempted the Produnova. Only five have succeeded. I can proudly say one of them is sitting among us,” Tendulkar said pointing to Karmakar.

Tendulkar added that while Karmakar did not finish with a medal, it inspired many to follow in her footsteps.

“Dipa not only left an impression, but also motivated thousands of youngsters to go out and do something special for our country and that is what matters.”

“That is her contribution to (Indiaan) Gymnastics.”

Sachin Tendulkar was speaking after he launched a book based on her life ‘Dipa Karmakar: The Small Wonder’ on Tuesday. The book has been co-authored by Karmakar’s coach Bishweshwar Nandi and sports journalists Digvijay Singh Deo and Vimal Mohan, and released by FingerPrint Publishing.

‘Dipa: The Small Wonder’
The book is an account of Karmakar’s roller-coaster journey from the day she began her training at Vivekananda Byamagar- a fabled single-storey sporting club in Agartala - to becoming the first Indian gymnast to qualify for the Olympics.

During the session, it was highlighted how Sachin Tendulkar and Dipa Karmakar are similar to each other. Both were naughty kids who were diverted to play sports to channel their energy. The skills of both players were honed by strict coaches—Ramakant Achrekar and Bishweshwar Nandi respectively.

During the session after the book launch, Sachin Tendulkar talked about the conversation he had with Dipa Karmakar after she had returned from Rio. He said that she should not let the new-found fame and changes affect her.

The master cricketer also shared his experience at recovering from injuries and how it affects an athlete.

Dipa has been troubled by a knee injury for some time that forced her pull out of the artistic team finals at the Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games in August 2018 and made her miss several other tournaments.

Tendulkar expressed hope that Dipa will fully recover and achieve great new feats in the future.

Eye on Olympic qualification
Karmakar said she was preparing for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics qualification. “I will be competing in Olympic qualification event in March. Now the criteria for qualification have changed drastically,” she said.

This criteria is very tough for the countries like us, who are not developed much in gymnastics. But, I am preparing and trying at my best (to get that qualification).”

Karmakar shared several anecdotes about her coach Nandi and also spoke about the contribution of Dr Anant Joshi, who operated her following the knee injury.

One of the anecdotes was a story of how Dipa was not told about Sachin Tendulkar’s visit to her training camp as her coach did not want to get her distracted during her preparations. When Dipa came to know it later she got angry at her coach.

“I have forgiven him now,” she said with a smile.

 

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