Two months after her inspiring performance at the Rio Olympics, Dipa Karmakar is in the middle of a tricky situation. The Indian gymnast who finished fourth in the vault category in Rio and put India on the global map of gymnastics, is now returning one of her presents she received on her return to India. Dipa alongwith India’s two medallist from Rio, PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik, received a BMW car each in September. However, soon Dipa will return her car to original owner V Chamundeswaranath, president of the Hyderabad Badminton Association, owing to maintenance issues.
“It wasn’t Dipa’s decision. Rather it was a collective decision taken by her family and me,” BS Nandi, Dipa’s coach told The Times of India. “There are two main reasons behind it. First, there is no BMW service center in Agartala and secondly, the roads are not suitable to drive a posh car such as this.”
Dipa, who hails from Agartala, and her family are having difficulty maintaining a car as expensive as BMW. Given the narrow roads, it will be difficult for them to keep the car and the Hyderabad Badminton Association has accepted their request.
“We have spoken to the concerned authority and gladly, they have no problems with it. It was also suggested to them that if possible, they transfer the amount equivalent to the value of the car to Dipa’s bank account. And if not, we will be happy with whatever amount they decide,” he said.
Dipa will next participate in the Challengers Cup in Germany and the Gymnastics Federation of India has told Nandi that Dipa’s participation depends if she can be at the six-member Indian camp.
“According to the Federation, we must at least prepare a three-member team. Otherwise, we won’t be able to participate in the Challengers Cup. The camp has also suggested that I begin a preparatory camp as soon as possible,” Nandi said.