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High maintenance, narrow roads force Dipa to forgo BMW ride

By The Assam Tribune

HYDERABAD/AGARTALA, Oct 12 - Expressing her inability to maintain a luxury car in Agartala, celebrated Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakar has requested that she should instead be given a cash prize equivalent to the vehicle�s cost. However, the body which offered her the gift promised to �look� into the matter.

Karmakar, who scripted history by becoming the first Indian woman gymnast to qualify for the Olympics, produced a memorable performance at the big event in Rio finishing 4th in the vault event.

A BMW car was gifted to her by the Hyderabad District Badminton Association president Chamundeswarinath in appreciation of her performance.

Dipa, along with India�s two other medallists from Rio � badminton star PV Sindhu and wrestler Sakshi Malik � and Sindhu�s coach Pullela Gopichand, received the BMW car in August for her achievement at the Rio Olympics.

She was presented the keys of the car by cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar at a felicitation ceremony where she was honoured alongside Olympic silver medallist shuttler PV Sindhu and bronze-winning wrestler Sakshi Malik.

However, Dipa says she wants to return the gift as roads in Agartala are too narrow for a BMW and also the city does not have a single BMW showroom or service centre. �There is no showroom or service centre of BMW car in Tripura. If the car developed any technical snag during driving, how would I repair this? There are also not sufficient suitable roads in Agartala and other places of the mountainous State to ply the luxury car,� Dipa said.

�Sir (her coach Bisheshwar Nandi) discussed these matters with V Chamundeshwarnath. He agreed to deposit money equal to a BMW car cost to my bank account. We would be happy whatever amount they give instead of the BMW car,� she added.

Hyderabad District Badminton Association president Chamundeswarinath said that he will have a word with the gymnast on the difficulties she is facing in handling the vehicle.

�We will discuss with her. Whatever Dipa is comfortable with, we will look into it; if not BMW car,� Chamundeswarinath said. �The idea of gifting cars to the sportspersons was to encourage them to do better,� he added.

In August, while Sindhu and Gopi received BMW 320Ds that cost around Rs 40 lakh each, Sakshi and Dipa received compact cross-over BMW X1s priced at around Rs 30 lakh each.

Tendulkar, who was the Goodwill Ambassador of the Indian team at Rio Olympics, handed over the keys of the vehicles to them at a function held at the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy here on August 28.

The 23-year-old Tripura girl scored 15.066 points, a mere 0.150 less than eventual bronze-medallist Giulia Steingruber (15.216) of Switzerland, to miss out on a podium finish.

�I am now keeping my focus and preparing for the Challengers� Cup in Germany, which is only a month away. I was advised by my coach not to worry about maintaining the expensive gift and focus on the future challenges to come,� Dipa remarked. � Agencies

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High maintenance, narrow roads force Dipa to forgo BMW ride

HYDERABAD/AGARTALA, Oct 12 - Expressing her inability to maintain a luxury car in Agartala, celebrated Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakar has requested that she should instead be given a cash prize equivalent to the vehicle�s cost. However, the body which offered her the gift promised to �look� into the matter.

Karmakar, who scripted history by becoming the first Indian woman gymnast to qualify for the Olympics, produced a memorable performance at the big event in Rio finishing 4th in the vault event.

A BMW car was gifted to her by the Hyderabad District Badminton Association president Chamundeswarinath in appreciation of her performance.

Dipa, along with India�s two other medallists from Rio � badminton star PV Sindhu and wrestler Sakshi Malik � and Sindhu�s coach Pullela Gopichand, received the BMW car in August for her achievement at the Rio Olympics.

She was presented the keys of the car by cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar at a felicitation ceremony where she was honoured alongside Olympic silver medallist shuttler PV Sindhu and bronze-winning wrestler Sakshi Malik.

However, Dipa says she wants to return the gift as roads in Agartala are too narrow for a BMW and also the city does not have a single BMW showroom or service centre. �There is no showroom or service centre of BMW car in Tripura. If the car developed any technical snag during driving, how would I repair this? There are also not sufficient suitable roads in Agartala and other places of the mountainous State to ply the luxury car,� Dipa said.

�Sir (her coach Bisheshwar Nandi) discussed these matters with V Chamundeshwarnath. He agreed to deposit money equal to a BMW car cost to my bank account. We would be happy whatever amount they give instead of the BMW car,� she added.

Hyderabad District Badminton Association president Chamundeswarinath said that he will have a word with the gymnast on the difficulties she is facing in handling the vehicle.

�We will discuss with her. Whatever Dipa is comfortable with, we will look into it; if not BMW car,� Chamundeswarinath said. �The idea of gifting cars to the sportspersons was to encourage them to do better,� he added.

In August, while Sindhu and Gopi received BMW 320Ds that cost around Rs 40 lakh each, Sakshi and Dipa received compact cross-over BMW X1s priced at around Rs 30 lakh each.

Tendulkar, who was the Goodwill Ambassador of the Indian team at Rio Olympics, handed over the keys of the vehicles to them at a function held at the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy here on August 28.

The 23-year-old Tripura girl scored 15.066 points, a mere 0.150 less than eventual bronze-medallist Giulia Steingruber (15.216) of Switzerland, to miss out on a podium finish.

�I am now keeping my focus and preparing for the Challengers� Cup in Germany, which is only a month away. I was advised by my coach not to worry about maintaining the expensive gift and focus on the future challenges to come,� Dipa remarked. � Agencies

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