When the chips are down, inspiration from an unexpected source can well be the elixir to wade through troubled times.
For Diksha Dagar, meeting Annika Sorenstam and spending time with the co-host of this week’s Scandinavian Mixed on the Ladies European Tour could well be tonic the 20-year-old is searching for in a last-ditch attempt to make the Tokyo Olympics. This week and the Czech Ladies Open after a week’s gap is all that is on offer before the qualification window for women pros closes on June 28.
It is a tall order, but an athlete never says its over till it actually is. For Diksha, the dodgy back that was probably not tended to at the right time and the resultant poor show has made the phase tougher.
Emerging from lockdown and short on practice, Diksha has not fared badly. Making cut in the season opener Ladies Italian Open and a top-10 on the Access Series in the Czech Republic thereafter are indications that “the ball striking is getting better and so is my game”. The T9 at the Czech Ladies Challenge is a definite boost but the angst remains.
So, when Annika personally welcomed Diksha and thanked her for taking part in LET’s only mixed team event, the time with the Swedish legend washed away the worries at least for the time the two were together. Some notes were exchanged and the tips handed down will stay with Diksha for posterity.
One lesson that she has learnt on her own after this bruising brush with pain is including fitness and yoga in her daily schedule.
The dodgy back has held till now and enough care is being taken that it stays so, especially during the next two tournaments.
There is a change in the training pattern to ensure injury is kept at bay. During practice, the focus is on hitting irons and the driver is used only when essential so that the workload does not get out of hand and the body stays fresh for competition.
Photo credit: Diksha Dagar