Still miles to go, says Aruna Reddy

The Hyderabad gymnast says she has a lot to achieve to be compared to Dipa Karmakar.

By   |  Published: 26th Feb 2018  12:16 amUpdated: 26th Feb 2018  1:42 am
B Aruna Reddy (left) with Dipa Karmakar (right) and coach Bishweshwar Nandi during a training camp.

Hyderabad: Budda Aruna Reddy, who became the first Indian women gymnast from the city to win a medal (bronze) at the Gymnastics World Cup on Saturday, feels she was ecstatic after achieving the rare feat but says that there is a long way to go to be compared with produnova queen Dipa Karmakar.

“I have no words to explain my joy. I feel great. I think I have made the country proud. I was very confident of winning a medal but I didn’t reveal it to anyone. I didn’t want to take that pressure with me to the competition arena,” she said on Sunday after finishing seventh in the Floor event with 10.833 score. Australia’s Alexandra Eade took the gold with 13.333 while Brazil’s Isabel Barbosa and Slovakia’s Kysselef Tjasa bagged silver and bronze respectively.

Speaking to Telangana Today from Australia, she said that there is a long way to go for her before being compared to Dipa Karmakar, who has become the symbol of gymnastics in India after her fourth-place finish at the Rio Olympics. “Obviously she is our first female gymnast that brought the game in to limelight in the country. I can’t say that I have joined her with just one World Cup medal. I have a long way to go. Practicing with her and her coach (Bishweshwar) Nandi sir in New Delhi since five years in the Indian camp helped me in so many ways. My personal coach Brij Kishore sir is the main reason for what I am today. I dedicate this medal to my father first and then to all the coaches who helped me throughout my career,” she added.

From the World Cup, she is planning to go to Tashkent (in Uzbekistan) for the Commonwealth Games preparation but wants to visit her coach Brij Kishore who was admitted in the hospital with ill health. “My next target is the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games. I will prepare hard for the tournament. But I want to meet my coach before leaving. I missed him throughout the World Cup,” she said.

Back in Hyderabad, Brij Kishore, who has been working for almost 10 years to see his trainee with a World Cup medal, the moment of reckoning had finally arrived. However, he was not with her to celebrate the joy. After a month of training with his ward Aruna Reddy in Uzbekistan for the World Cup and upcoming Commonwealth Games, Brij Kishore had to return to Hyderabad with ill health.

However, his ill health didn’t stop him from having a smile on his face. “This is her first medal and I am very delighted with it. She has been training hard for this since a long time. It is almost 10 years she has been training with us at the LB Stadium. She is a very hard working girl and she deserves the medal. We were confident of the medal before she left for the World Cup and I am happy that she has delivered on the big stage,” he said.