Updated May 14th, 2024 at 15:17 IST

Diksha Dagar on Paris 2024 preparation: ‘From now on every event will be like an Olympics’

Starting this week at the Amundi German Masters in Berlin, ‘centurion’ Diksha Dagar will participate in at least nine events to prepare for the Paris Olympics.

Indian golfer Diksha Dagar | Image:PTI
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Diksha Dagar, who last week became the first Indian golfer to tee off in a 100 Ladies European Tour events, will be on a packed European sojourn ahead of the Paris Olympics 2024 in July-August. The 23-year-old made her Summer Olympics debut at Tokyo 2020 alongside Aditi Ashok.

Starting this week at the Amundi German Masters in Berlin, ‘centurion’ Diksha will participate in at least nine events, almost all in Europe, to prepare for the Summer Games. “All events from here on will be like an Olympics for me,” Diksha said in a recent conversation with Ekta Vishnoi, the host of the Fit India Champions Podcast, a series that features India’s top sportspersons. 

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The Fit India Champions podcast series is aimed at spreading the message on wellness through conversations with athletes and health influencers. The series is in partnership with GOQii, a major stakeholder in the fitness sector that proactively manages health through its digital and multimedia technology. 

Diksha is a special golfer. She is left-handed and is the only one to have played an Olympics for the able-bodied and two Deaflympics (for the hearing impaired). Managed by her father, Colonel Narinder Dagar, Diksha is a two-time Deaflympics medalist. The Rohtak girl won a silver in 2017 in Turkey and a gold in 2022 in Brazil. Diksha turned professional in 2019.

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“I really want to get into the LPGA. That will test my levels. I want to finish in world top 50,” Diksha, currently ranked 147 in the world, said in the Fit India Champions Podcast, adding that Paris Olympics is on top of her mind. 

“Focusing on my disciple and process in all the tournaments that I am going to play will be important,” said the Novak Djokovic fan. Interestingly, Diksha was a last-minute entry at Tokyo 2020 after South African golfer Paula Reto withdrew. She has three professional titles in her career.

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Diksha Dagar, 37th in the Olympic rankings, is part of Sports Authority of India’s Target Olympics Podium Scheme (TOPS). She and Aditi Ashok are the only two golfers funded by TOPS. Diksha will receive a financial assistance of INR 35.48 lakhs to participate in tournaments and prepare for Paris 2024 starting this week.

Between Tokyo and Paris, Diksha says she has matured and learnt a lot as a golfer. “I have improved on various aspects related to mental make-up, dealing with expectations, training, fitness, travel and preparation. In a way, I have kind of done my graduation and doing Masters’ degree in nuances of professional golf. I am more balanced, stable and a happier pro,” Diksha told SAI Media from Berlin on Tuesday.

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Having won a tournament in South Africa on her professional debut in 2019, Diksha has shown she is quite capable of performing on the big stage. Having played a 100 events on the LET tour says a lot and Diksha feels women in India need inspiration to take up golf.

“Golf and especially professional women's golf in India is at a very nascent level. Hope more girls and parents get inspired to take up this beautiful game. I also wish and hope for more support for women's golf which is quite low at the moment. Happy to have reached a milestone and I guess it is equivalent to playing a 100 Test matches,” Diksha added.

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The next two months will be a grind for Diksha Dagar. Her focus is Paris Olympics. “In Tokyo, I was happy just participating. It was a great experience, learning and motivation for me. For Paris, I am more committed and focused on performing well rather than just participating.”

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Published May 14th, 2024 at 15:17 IST