Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakar, who has not competed since her historic fourth-place finish at the Rio Olympics last year, is all set to miss the World Gymnastics Championships as she is recovering from a knee surgery. It is another setback for the 23-year-old who also missed the Asian Championships earlier this year due to the anterior crucial ligament injury.
She had undergone the surgery in April and her rehab will take at least six months before she can resume training. The World Championships will be held in Canada in October.
"There is not much you can do in case of an injury. It is frustrating as an athlete but I won't call it a setback. Though it is surely a challenge," Karmakar told PTI.
Karmakar, who is camping at the IG Stadium in presence of her coach Bisweshwar Nandi, has started jogging but can only think about training once six months of rehab is over.
Coach Nandi said that her ward will not be competition ready for the World Championships and therefore the focus shifts to the Commonwealth and Asian Games next year.
"I would not want that she goes to worlds for mere participation. And it won't be possible for her to be fully ready for the big event," said Nandi.
"Coming back after an injury is a challenge but then you also have to keep in mind that you can get injured also in the competition. Like it happened with one of the participants in Rio. Gymnastics is a dangerous sport at all times," he said.
As she is not competing, Karmakar said she is using the time to work on fitness and completing her studies.
"I gave one MA exam last year, now I am preparing for another," said the diminutive athlete.
Asked about the age factor in the sport since she is losing out on crucial time due to injury, Karmakar said: "One of the gymnast who took part in Rio was 43 years old. So if she can do it, I can too."
Karmakar had created history by finishing fourth in the vault final of the Rio Olympics, missing the bronze by a whisker.
This was after she became the first Indian female gymnast to qualify for the Olympics.
(With PTI inputs)