Dipa Karmakar

Agartala, Aug 15 (IANS) Ace gymnast Dipa Karmakar’s brilliant performance would encourage others and give a boost to Indian gymnastics, Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said here on Monday after unfurling the tricolour at the Assam Rifles Ground.

“Dipa’s extraordinary performance would encourage others and boost Indian gymnastics,” Sarkar said and highlighted her sincere efforts in the final round at the 31st Olympic Games at Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.

Manik Sarkar - Tripura CM
Manik Sarkar – Tripura CM

Congratulating Dipa, the Chief Minister said: “We are confident that next time in Olympic Games she would earn medals for the country.”

In the final event on Sunday, the 23-year-old Tripura girl averaged 15.066 points to finish fourth in the Games.

Renowned music composer Subimal Bhattacharjee, 77, has composed a song on the golden girl Dipa.

Bhattacharjee, who was closely associated with Bangladesh’s founding father and former President Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and incumbent Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, said: “I from my core of the heart wish her more success in the future.”

Writer and sports researcher Sekhar Datta said: “A pall of silent gloom has descended on Tripura as Tripura’s gymnastic icon Dipa Karmakar joined the celebrated duo of Indian sports, Milkha Singh and P.T.Usha in missing an Olympic medal by a whisker.”

He said: “Milkha Singh in Rome (1960) and P.T.Usha in Los Angeles (1984) had narrowly missed Olympic medal. Milkha for slowing down midway in the 400 metres run while Usha for a faulty start in the 4×100-metre run.”

He said gymnastics in Tripura was a strong point since the 1960s when a Haryana coach, late Duleep Singh, started shaping up a long succession of champion gymnasts like Bharat Kishore Debbarma, Mantu Debnath, Kalpana Debnath, Bishweshwar Nandi, Banasri Debnath, Soma Nandi and a host of others.

“Mantu and Kalpana became Arjuna Award winners in gymnastics. But it is Dipa who rewrote the rules of the game, becoming a champion in a northeast sports festival in 2002 only at the age of nine and there was no looking back.”

“From 2007 Dipa has consistently won a long series of junior and senior national titles, bronze in commonwealth games in 2014 and other laurels beyond the reach of ordinary sportspersons including gymnasts,” Datta added.

    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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