Dipa to enhance Olympic chance

New Delhi: Ace Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakar will be competing in back-to-back World Cups next month to enhance her chances of qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Dipa had claimed a bronze at the vault event of the Artistic Gymnastics World Cup in Cottbus, Germany in November, last year, to make a strong bid for her Olympic qualification. It was Dipa’s first appearance after recovering from a knee strain which spoilt her Jakarta Asian Games, where she missed the vault final and also had to pull out of the team event due to a knee strain.

The Indian, who vaulted her way to a fourth place finish at the Rio Olympics, will now compete at the Baku World Cup (March 14-17) and Doha World Cup (March 20 – 23).

“This time the Olympic Qualifications is through several routes including the World Cups. I wanted to explore all possible routes to increase my chances for the 2020 Olympic Qualifications and my confidence has risen after winning a medal at the World Cup in Germany last year,” Dipa said. “I am now ready for the back to back World Cups in Baku and Doha this March. I hope to show up good performance and progress towards the Olympics,” added the gymnast from Agartala.

The two events are part of an eight-event qualifying system for the 2020 Olympics, under which the gymnasts will make the cut based on their top three scores. Dipa decided to skip the World Cup in Melbourne (21 to February 21-24) to prepare for next month’s twin world cups. “We decided to miss the Melbourne event to take a little more time to prepare for the upcoming World Cups at Baku and Doha,” her coach and mentor Bisweswar Nandi said.