Odisha: Bhubaneswar is all set to witness the eagerly awaited return of Dipa Karmakar, India’s renowned gymnast, as she makes her comeback to competitive action after serving a 21-month ban for doping. The 29-year-old athlete, known for her extraordinary skills and achievements in gymnastics, was suspended after testing positive for higenamine, a prohibited stimulant according to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). However, her ban is set to end on July 10, paving the way for her participation in the Asian Games 2023 gymnastics selection trials scheduled in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, on July 11 and 12.
Dipa Karmakar’s inclusion in the list of probables for the trials was announced by the Gymnastic Federation of India back in May, raising anticipation among her fans and the gymnastics fraternity. Speaking about her upcoming participation, Karmakar expressed her excitement and optimism, saying, “It is confirmed I will be participating in the trials. I have been training in Agartala for the last few months, so I hope for the best.”
The talented gymnast from Tripura made history as the first Indian gymnast to compete in the Olympics. Her remarkable performance in the women’s vault event at the 2016 Rio Olympics earned her a fourth-place finish, showcasing her immense talent and determination. Over the years, Karmakar has also clinched several accolades, including a gold medal at the 2018 Artistic Gymnastics World Cup in Mersin, Turkey, making her the first Indian gymnast to achieve this feat. She further added to her medal collection with a bronze at the World Cup in Cottbus, Germany, in the same year.
Dipa Karmakar’s contributions to Indian gymnastics have been widely recognised and honoured. She is a recipient of the prestigious Padma Shri award and the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna award. Additionally, Karmakar has secured medals in prominent international events such as the Commonwealth Games and Asian Championships, cementing her status as one of India’s most accomplished gymnasts.
Joining Karmakar in the list of probables for the Asian Games trials are other talented gymnasts, including Pranati Nayak, who represented India in the Tokyo Olympics, along with Pranati Das and Protistha Samanta in the women’s category. In the men’s category, Rakesh Patra and Yogeshwar Singh are among the notable names.