16-year-old opens Nepal’s gold medal account

Shillong, February 8

Nima Gharti Magar opened Nepal’s gold medal account on the fourth day of the 12th South Asian Games here at the Assam Rifle Sports Complex today.

Gharti Magar finished first ahead of India and Pakistan with a total score of 16.89 points in women’s NanQuan All-round to win Nepal’s first gold.

She scored 8.46 points in today’s Nandao performance to add to her overnight score of 8.43 in NanQuan in her debut international participation.

India’s Swecha Jatav was second with 16.33 points, while Pakistan’s Mubashra Akhtar came third with 12.70 points.

“It is a proud moment and wonderful feeling. I cannot express my happiness in words,” said Gharti Magar affiliated with Ninza Wushu Quan of Lalitpur. “I want to thank my family, coaches and school teachers for their unconditional support.

They always encouraged me,” she added.

Gharti Magar said she was nervous before entering the arena. “As per the instructions of the coaches, I concentrated on my game without watching others. At one stage, I lost my grip over sword and it fell on the mat.

But I did not give up and completed the performance to win the medal,” said Gharti Magar, whose father drives a tipper and mother runs a shop.

Gharti Magar hails from Rukum and has been living at Gwarko, Lalitpur. Tenth grade student at Don Bosco School, she topped the points tally on both the days in the four-player category.

“Winning the first gold medal for the country has given me immense pleasure,” said Gharti Magar. “There was wushu quan near my house and I used to watch others playing from my room window.

One day, a friend of mine, Saraswoti Tamang, took me to the quan but I did not enjoy that.

But gradually I was attracted to the sport and I joined the quan with the help of my friend,” Gharti Magar recalled her early days. “I went on playing and it has become a part of my life today,” she added.

Coach Prakash Maharjan was satisfied with the overall performance of Gharti Magar and described the moment as one of the happiest ones.

“She put on her best show,” said Maharjan. “She committed minor mistakes but we have to be happy as performing like a champion in the first international tournament is not easy,” he said, adding, “That too after training at a place where players do not have high-class facilities.”

Maharjan described Gharti Magar as a fast and upcoming player with high discipline. “She is a junior player with a lot of potential. She has improved remarkably in a short period which is a good sign for the sport.

If she continues like this and keeps on training, Nepal can win gold medal in Asian Games in near future,” he added.

This is Nepal’s fifth gold medal in wushu. Raj Kumar Rasaili and Bina Khadka Lama had won gold medals in 10th SA Games when the sport was first included in 2006.

Binita Maharjan and Ang Babu Lama were the gold medalists in the next edition held in Islamabad in 2011.