Rio de Janeiro (Brazil): Amid increasing speculation that Dipa Karmakar has been recommended for the Rajiv Khel Ratna Award, the Indian trailblazing gymnast has made a modest plea urging the authorities to confer a Dronacharya award to her coach Bishweshwar Nandi instead.
“It is a big honour that I have been recommended for the Khel Ratna. I would have been happier if I had fetched a medal for my country. But I want my coach Bishweshwar Nandi to be conferred with the Dronacharya award as it was only because of him that I was able to give such a performance in Rio,” Dipa told ANI.
The 23-year-old, hailing from Tripura, missed out on an Olympic medal by 0.150 points despite successfully executing the dangerous Produnova vault (15.266) in her second attempt to secure a remarkable 15.066 points in the final.
The diminutive gymnast, who vaulted into limelight with her death defying leap, had created history when she became the first Indian gymnast to enter the final on her debut at the quadrennial multi-discipline games after finishing eighth in the qualifying round.
Dulal Karamakar, Dipa’s father, had also earlier said that he felt extremely glad to hear the news, but added that he would be happier if Nandi, who for the last 16 years has been dedicatedly giving her training and taking her up to the level of Olympics from remote Tripura, is bestowed with the Dronacharya Award.
Dronacharya Award is an honor presented by the government of India for excellence in sports coaching.