Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakar, on Tuesday, expressed her disappointment at being dropped from the country’s upcoming Asian Games contingent despite topping the national trials held last month in Bhubaneswar.
“The Asian Games 2023, an event I have eagerly anticipated for the past two years, looks further than it is,” she wrote in a post on social media.
“To my surprise, despite topping the national trials and meeting the Ministry’s selection criteria, it appears that I will be deprived of the opportunity to participate in the Asian Games. ... [these] recent events have proven to be very demotivating and discouraging.”
The 30-year-old, who became the first woman and second Indian to medal at the Commonwealth Games when she won bronze at Glasgow 2014, further alleged that she had been kept in dark about the factors that led to her ommission from the team.
“Worse still, the reasons behind this decision are unknown to me and have not been communicated officially,” Karmakar stated.
“All I ask is for the selection criteria to be applied fairly and consistently across all sports. And request that the correct information be conveyed to us so that we don’t live in uncertainty,” she added.
This comes less than two weeks after Karmakar reportedly wrote a letter to the Sports Authority of India asking for relaxation in the selection criteria for her to compete in Hangzhou.
“I faced several setbacks, including two ACL tears in 2017 and 2019, limited opportunities to compete during the pandemic, and a 21-month suspension that concluded in mid-July 2023 due to a doping violation,” the letter stated as per a report in The Times of India.
“I earnestly request the Sports Ministry to consider my exceptional circumstances and kindly grant me necessary relaxation in the eligibility criteria,” it further read.
Karmakar’s name was originally sent to the Asian Games organising committee before the July 15 deadline. Her name was added after she topped the selection trials which featured other gymnasts who will be competing in Hangzhou. Her name, however, was reportedly withdrawn following the new criteria laid down by the Sports Ministry on July 10.
“In individual events during the last twelve months prior to the commencement of the event, the performance of the sportspersons should not be less than the performance achieved by the 8th position holder of the 2018 Asian Games in measurable sports,” the set criteria by the Sports Ministry reads.
Since Karmakar, who finished fourth at the 2016 Rio Olympics, was out of action due to a doping violation over the past year, she has been termed ineligible to compete at the Asian Games. This, however, came only after she was allowed to participate in the trials, which she topped.
“The hard work and sacrifice that goes into preparing for a major games is rarely appreciated and instead met with uncertainty and deafening silence from SAI and the Sports Ministry,” she added.