18 January 2020 12:31 AM

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ABDUL GANI | 14 JANUARY, 2020

Tripura Looks Set to Create More Dipa Karmakars

‘Talent is not everything’


GUWAHATI: Priyanka Dasgupta and a few others strive hard to take Olympian Dipa Karmakar’s gymnastics legacy forward in Tripura. The state is determined to produce more Olympics hopefuls in the coming days.

By earning four gold medals in artistic gymnastics, more than any other team at the ongoing Khelo India Youth Games in Guwahati so far, Dasgupta could be a state unto herself.

An ardent fan of Karmakar’s, her mantra for success is: “Just listen to the advice of the coach and keep on working hard. That’s it.”

The 16-year old gymnast said that many youngsters in Tripura now want to be Dipa Karmakar. “Earlier, there were not many players in gymnastics but after Dipa di’s success, there are many youngsters who want to do gymnastics,” she told The Citizen.

Not too surprisingly, this fixation finds its root in the advice she received from her idol and the “real star of Tripura”.

“Dipa di told me to stay focused, not to get overawed by what the competition is doing, but to concentrate on my own performances,” Dasgupta explained. “Di told me that the most important muscle in gymnastics is the brain. If you don’t have the strength of will, you cannot win.”

Coach Soma Nandi said that youngsters are rushing at the gymnastic centres to be the next Dipa Karmakar.

“I’m very happy with the results. The government has provided us with the necessary infrastructure. So, we are getting the results now. Now with youngsters showing interest in the sport, we are also confident that we can produce at least two to three Olympians from Tripura,” Nandi told The Citizen.

The SAI coach posted in Agartala also expressed satisfaction at the infrastructure in her state.

For Dasgupta, her coach is her second mother. “My mother pushed me to go into gymnastics, and she was the one who took me to the stadium every day. But at the stadium it was Soma ma’am who taught me everything, coaxed me, cajoled me, reprimanded me and took care of me. I call her my second mother,” she said.

This was not new for Soma Nandi. She had after all coached Dipa Karmakar before her husband Bisweshwar Nandi took charge of the Produnova specialist.

“When Priyanka first came in, I didn’t think she was so talented,” said Nandi. “But of course, talent is not everything. She put her head down, was willing to work hard, and was always looking to learn new things. That is what makes her who she is.”
 

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