• Dipa Karmakar returns BMW she got as gift

    Stellar gymnast Dipa Karmakar has decided to return her BMW which she got after her winning feat at this year’s Rio Olympics. Her family and her coach BS Nandi took this decision due to a number of reasons– the car’s high maintenance cost, lack of a BMW service centre in Agartala and absence of suitable roads to drive such a luxurious vehicle.

    Along with Dipa, Olympians PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik also received BMWs for their performance in Rio. Dipa’s moves in the Vault category and her Produnova stint earned her the fourth spot in the event and also helped put India on the global map in terms of gymnastics. She was gifted the BMW by Sachin Tendulkar but now, her family and relatives believe that the car is of no use to them.

    “It wasn’t Dipa’s decision. Rather it was a collective decision taken by her family and me,” BS Nandi, Dipa’s coach told The Times of India. “There are two main reasons behind it. First, there is no BMW service center in Agartala and secondly, the roads are not suitable to drive a posh car such as this.”

    The expensive car will go back to its original owner, V Chamundeswaranath, president of the Hyderabad Badminton Association. Nandi also said that they have already discussed it with the officials at Hyderabad Badminton Association and expressed their concern.

    “We have spoken to the concerned authority and they have no problems with it. It was also suggested to them that if possible, they transfer the amount equivalent to the value of the car to Dipa’s bank account. And if not, we will be happy with whatever amount they decide,” he said.

    Dipa’s next tournament will be the  Challengers Cup in Germany and the Gymnastics Federation of India has told Nandi that Dipa can only fly to Germany for this championship if the six-member Indian team plays as a team. Dipa’s chances of joining his coach in Germany seem bleak since she hasn’t started training in full capacity yet.

    Picture credit- Rediff