New Delhi [India], Feb 14 (ANI): Top gymnast Dipa Karmakar has said that the decision to opt out of this year's Commonwealth Games was taken to avoid any further risk to a knee injury that she had suffered last year.
Karmakar had to undergo an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) surgery in April last year and has been out of action since then.
"I had suffered a knee injury. It has been just a year to the surgery. So my coach [Bishweshwar Nandi] has taken the decision of me not participating in the Commonwealth Games to avoid any risk," Karmakar told ANI.
She added, "I have not yet attained the performance level I was supposed to attain because I have been to rehab for nine months since the injury."
The 24-year-old informed that her next target is the Asian Games to be held from August 18 in Indonesia.
"This phase comes in every player's life. My coach's decision is my decision," she expressed.
Coach Bishweshwar Nandi said Karmakar is physically fit, but needs to enhance her performance.
Nandi said, "Dipa is fit physically, but it has been just one-and-half-months that she has started her practice. It will still need four to five months more to achieve her performance level. So, it would be better if we go in the competition with that performance level."
"If she participates in the Commonwealth Games now, it would be a decision taken in haste because if Dipa sustains another injury, she will be out of gymnastics. So, I am now preparing her for the Asian Games," he added.
Asked who will be the medal contender in gymnastics in the absence of Karmakar, he said, "We have Ashish Kumar and Rakesh Patra in boys and Aruna Reddy and Pranati Das as female contenders. So, we will have at least a hat trick in gymnastics in the Commonwealth Games."
Karmakar won a bronze medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the Asian Championships, becoming the first Indian female gymnast to do so in the history of the Games.
She is one of the only five women who have successfully landed the 'Produnova', which is regarded as the most difficult vault currently performed in women's gymnastics. (ANI)