2016 Rio Games: Dipa Karmakar, Heena Sidhu among latest check-ins at Olympic Village

Checking into the Olympic Village, Dipa was gung-ho having secured her place into the Olympic Games in the same venue during the Test event for the Games.

PTI| Last Updated: Jul 31, 2016, 21:37 PM IST
2016 Rio Games: Dipa Karmakar, Heena Sidhu among latest check-ins at Olympic Village

Rio de Janeiro: Promising gymnast Dipa Karmakar, the women's hockey team and shooter Heena Sidhu on Sunday checked into the Olympic Village to further boost the Indian contingent at the Rio Games beginning on August 5.

Checking into the Olympic Village, Dipa was gung-ho having secured her place into the Olympic Games in the same venue during the Test event for the Games.

"I have happy memories so I am looking forward to the Games," she said, as she was accompanied by her coach Bisweswar Nandi.

"It was a long journey but I am hoping to adjust within a day or two and will get down to the gym and training," said Dipa.

"I have already found out where the gym is, the swimming pool and various other facilities, so we have begun to settle in," she added.

Dipa and Nandi met Indian contingent Chef-de-Mission Rakesh Gupta, who has been meeting all the athletes arriving into the Village.

"Abhinav Bindra, Heena Sidhu, boxer Shiva Thapa and Dipa have all checked in the past couple of days, as have the women's hockey team. The men's hockey team arrived a day earlier, so we are nearing our full strength. The teething problems in the Village have been sorted out and it is improving each day. We still have six days to go for the start, and the athletes are beginning to feel comfortable," said Gupta.

Heena, one of India's leading hopes in shooting, arrived from Germany. She was accompanied by Ronak Pandit, her husband and coach and a former Commonwealth Games gold medallist.

She said she was looking forward to settling in and getting acclimatised.

"It was a 12-hour flight from Germany and the first priority is to get rest and then get down to training," she said.

Men's hockey coach Roelant Oltmans took his team through a session at the swimming pool and is soon planning to start the on-field training.

"It is important that we do all we can to make the boys feel comfortable and perform at their best," said Oltmans.

Gupta said, "Initially, we faced some problems in transport, particularly the drivers who have language issues, and they don't know the routes very well. The biggest issue we are facing now is the language problem. There will soon be more volunteers who are all from schools and colleges. The holidays start from August 1, so we should soon be fine."

Regarding food served on the Indians, he said, "I have been regularly e-mailing the Organising Committee of the Games for the past one year, requesting them to provide Indian vegetarian food. I am very happy that they are offering fair amount of vegetarian food for us in every meal.

"Everyday, there is a dish of daal (lentils), vegetables and so on. For breakfast and dinner, there are at least two to three vegetarian dishes. For instance, we have Aloo Gobhi on Friday; Palak Paneer on Saturday. So, both the athletes and we are happy that our team is getting what we are comfortable eating."

The official Welcome Ceremony of the Indian team at the Village will be held on August 2 in the afternoon.