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Sudip Roy Barman met Priyanka Dasgupta, the new rising gymnast star from Tripura
TIWN Jan 18, 2020
Sudip Roy Barman met Priyanka Dasgupta, the new rising gymnast star from Tripura
PHOTO : Sudip Roy Barman met Priyanka Dasgupta at her home. TIWN Pic Jan 18, 2020

AGARTALA, Jan 18 (TIWN): BJP MLA Sudip Roy Barman has felicitated Priyanka Dasgupta for her excellent achievement and winning of gold medals recently.

Barman visited the young star’s home and congratulated her. He assured she and her family with full support which may help her to rise as a star further.

Touted as the next big thing from Tripura after Dipa Karmakar, gymnast Priyanka Dasgupta has already emerged as the early star of the Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG) 2020.

Picking up four gold medals in artistic gymnastics, more than any team in the competition so far, Priyanka though, is not yet a contented soul: she can''t forget the medal that slipped out of her hands in last year''s edition with the slightest of margins.

This fixation finds its root in the advice she received from her idol and the ''real star of Tripura'' Dipa Karmakar.

"Dipa di told me to stay focused, not to get overawed by what the competition is doing, but to concentrate on my own performances," Priyanka explained.

"Di told me that the most important muscle in gymnastics is the brain. If you don''t have the strength of will, you cannot win," she added.

It is this simple trick that prompted her to work on her so-called weak routine, rather than sharpening what she is good at.

Not too surprisingly, the All-Around gold is firmly in her pocket now. She added the Balancing Beam, the Floor Exercises and the Vaulting Table golds too to emerge as the standout performer in the Under-17 girls competition.

"I am thrilled to have done this," she said, especially after beating Maharashtra''s redoubtable twins, Riddhi and Siddhi Hattekar.

"Obviously, every athlete comes to a competition with the objective of winning. But making it to happen is another story," she added.

Back in Agartala, her mother Bhabani Dasgupta''s delight was barely containable. "We are thrilled for her obviously. The first thing we will do when she comes back is put those medals on display," she said over a crackling phone line, adding that the family would thank the neighbour who advised a decade ago to start her on this journey.

"As a child, Priyanka used to be really naughty and energetic, always bouncing around the house," she said. "When she was a little over four years old, I asked my neighbour for help and she recommended that I send her to the Vivekananda Byamagar stadium for coaching."

Today, as success and greater glory beckon Priyanka, she is still flanked by the same coach who channelised her energy, Soma Nandi. "My mother pushed me to go to gymnastics, and she was the one who took me to the stadium every day. But at the stadium, it was Soma ma''am, who taught me everything, coaxed me, cajoled me, reprimanded me and took care of me. I call her my second mother," she said.

This was not new for Soma Nandi. She had after all coached Dipa Karmakar before her husband Bisweshwar Nandi took charge of the Produnova specialist.

"When Priyanka first came, I didn''t think she was so talented. But of course, talent is not everything. She put her head down, was willing to work hard, and was always looking to learn new things. That is what makes her who she is," Soma said.

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