Despite taking a cautious approach to her return to competitive gymnastics after a 21-month suspension for doping violations, Deepa Karmakar emerged as the number one female gymnast by scoring maximum points in the individual all-around at the Asian Games selection trials at the Kalinga Stadium here on Tuesday. Deepa, who underwent knee surgery a few years ago and trained with tape around her right knee, collected a total of 47.05 points in the vault, uneven bars, beam and floor exercises avoiding high difficulty scores. Deepa was comfortably ahead of her closest competitor and Pranati Das who scored 45.80 points.
Deepa’s coach Bishweswar Nandy and his wife Soma Nandy, who is Deepa’s first coach, were worried about their pupil’s fitness, but breathed a sigh of relief when she performed the Tisukahara 360 technique on the vaulting table without any problems. Deepa then completed the rest of the routine. Deepa had said here that I fought against every odds to make a comeback. This is a big comeback for me. For me, even though my performance was not 100 percent, it was still okay. But I will try to give my 100 percent in future. I would like to thank all those who supported me during my weak phase.
Nandi said that he did not want to take any risk today as he had returned with a significant margin and he would take some risk going for his personal tool vault tomorrow. About how his training is going for the last few months, Nandi said that I give him five hours of training every day.
Considering his right knee injury, I am not putting too much pressure on him, he can definitely improve a lot if the camp goes ahead. Nandi said about Deepa that she had a lot of confidence as she had been participating in competitions for a long time. However, we both got a little worried when he started having pain in his right knee. But he put his fears and anxieties aside during the competition and gave his best.