KATHMANDU, SEPTEMBER 9
Uday Aryal created a piece of history in the Tokyo Paralympic Games where he became the first Nepali badminton judge to contribute as a technical official.
Aryal, the BWF-certified international line judge, was selected as one of the 15 officials from Asian region. "It was a great honour for me to get selected for the Tokyo Paralympics and a proud moment to get the opportunity to represent the nation in such a global stage," said Aryal, who officiated as a line judge in a total of 17 matches.
Badminton was included in the Paralympics for the first time and the Badminton World Federation had picked him as a line judge in 2019. The Games got delayed for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic. "I am extremely happy to be the first Nepali international technical official in the Paralympic Games," added Aryal.
Aryal went one ahead when he was picked up for the finals.
"A total of 90 international line judges from across the world had come to Tokyo. They were divided into nine groups and my happiness doubled when I came to know that my name was included in the selected line judged for the finals," he said. Aryal is the second Nepali to attend Olympic Games as technical official. Deepak Thapa had officiated as an international line judge in the Rio Olympic Games in 2016.
The 55-year-old Aryal, who hails from Mills Area in Biratnagar, started the journey of technical official in 1988 from Palpa and he took the basic course of international umpire eight years later in Myanmar. He became the third Nepali international badminton official in 2001 after he underwent the course organised by the Badminton Asia Federation in Japan on the sidelines of the Junior Asian Badminton Championship.
Aryal also has a unique experience at home as he has never missed any national and international championship on home soil.
Para-taekwondo athlete Palesha Goverdhan was the lone Nepali player in the Tokyo Paralympic Games and she also created history.
Goverdhan became the first Nepali player to record in the global sporting extravaganza.
She defeated opponents from the United States of America and Serbia to make it to the final in repechage before losing to Chinese player in the bronze medal bout. After her performance in Tokyo, Goverdhan has moved to fifth position in world rankings of para-taekwondo.
A version of this article appears in the print on September 10 2021, of The Himalayan Times.