Diksha gets a late Olympic call; makes plans to get to Tokyo

New Delhi, July 29: India’s golf challenge got a boost as Diksha Dagar was given a late entry into the women’s Olympic golf competition scheduled next week from August 5. Diksha, who was among the reserves when the list was finalised earlier in the month, was conveyed the news by the International Golf Federation through the Indian Golf Union. The IGU has since  begun making arrangements for Diksha to reach Tokyo in time for the Games.

Hero-sponsored Diksha will join Aditi Ashok in the team. It is the first Olympic appearance for the left-handed Diksha, while Aditi will be playing her second Olympic Games.

However, Diksha, who was born with a hearing impairment, will now have the unique honour of having represented India at both the Deaf Olympics in 2017, where she finished second for a silver medal. Now she has a shot at the main Olympic Games.

Interestingly, Aditi has represented India at the Youth Olympic and the main Summer Olympics, too.

Diksha qualified after South Africa’s Paula Reto decided to withdraw and Austria declined to make a reallocation for their golfer Sarah Schober, as per information from the IGU, which said they “spare no effort to get her to Tokyo’.

Diksha also represented India at the 2018 Asian Games and then turned professional in 2019 and has since won two titles on the Ladies European Tour, one of them a team event.

Before the news came in, Diksha was entered and scheduled to play the ISPS Handa Invitational in Ireland.

Meanwhile, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) also has started the formalities for the accreditation and travel.

While Diksha herself may not have face any long quarantine problems, her father, Naren Dagar, her coach who is also often her caddie, had just returned to India. He will also need to get his formalities done with the IGU and IOA to be able to help Diksha, who when the Olympics were originally slated in July 2020, was in the list of Top-60. Now she had to come through reserves.

She has also represented India at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta where she was one of three women golfers from the country.

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