Athletics begins amidst controversies, failures
Kathmandu, August 25
Long-distance runners Krishna Bahadur Basnet and Gopi Chand Parki did not complete the race, while Som Bahadur Kumal and Bishworupa Buda were not allowed to take part in their events as Nepal made worst possible start in athletics.
Basnet left the 42.195km marathon after 40km, while Parki gave up after covering 30km distance. Basnet, who finished the half way in 1:12:52 and was 11th with the timing of 2:01:37 after 35km mark, left the race five kilometres later with the timing of 2:23:13.
Another marathoner, Parki completed the 21k mark in 1:12:54 and left after 30 kilometres with the timing of 1:51:20. Officials in Jakarta informed the athletes quit the race due to scorching heat and they were unable to continue their run. Nepal’s aim in marathon was to break the 2:20 barrier and push for qualification in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
The day also saw out-of-field controversies as two Nepali athletes were barred from taking part as they were not registered in their events. The news surfaced after the players were not included in the start list and officials were clueless. According to Nepal Olympic Committee, Kumal was not supposed to participate in 400m and he wanted to run only after reaching Jakarta.
“He was not in 400m programme and the athletics officials also did not mention about his participation in the event in managers’ meeting on August 23. Kumal showed his interest in running the 400m race yesterday and the organisers refused the entry, which is obvious,” said NOC President Jeevan Ram Shrestha, who was not aware of Buda’s case.
Buda was seen in the track to participate in the 10,000m race but the organisers sent her off minutes before the start. The official website of the Asian Games also does not have her name in the start list and 11 athletes took part in the race with two failing to complete the distance. NOC executive secretary Sujan Lal Shrestha said the athlete’s name was missing in the list because of technical error and the problem was sorted out. “Her name is there in the list sent by NOC and I had ensured her participation after a meeting with organisers in the afternoon. I don’t know what happened thereafter, and no one has informed me about her exclusion from the race,” he added.
Coach Amiri Yadav said they returned to athletes’ village after they were barred to take part. “We were sure that she will get chance to take part in the event following the meeting. But she was not allowed to run and we just returned without saying anything to anyone,” said Yadav. “Buda is here for 5,000m race and I wanted her to run in 10,000 as well. She did not get the chance and it does not make any difference,” he added.
In men’s 100m race, Yam Sajan Sunar finished last in Heat3 and was 34th overall in the 35-man field. Sunar completed the distance in 11.39 seconds, way behind his personal best of 10.92 seconds set during the 12th South Asian Games heats in India in 2015. Ram Krishna Chaudhary holds the national record of 10.71 set during the 1995 SAF Games in Madras. Kumal will now participate in 800m race, while Olympian athlete Saraswoti Bhattarai will run in 800m and 1,500m races.
Nepal’s challenge in badminton came to an end on Saturday. Nangsal Tamang lost her women’s singles round of 16 match, while Bikash Shrestha and Nabin Shrestha faced defeat in men’s doubles. Tamang, who had made it to the pre-quarters with victory over Maldivian shuttler Fathimath Nabaaha Abdul Razzaq on Thursday, went down 21-7, 21-12 at the hands of Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi. In men’s doubles, Shrestha duo lost 21-9, 21-12 against V Shem Goh and Wee Kiong Tan of Malaysia in round of 16.
The Recurve Men’s Team lost 6-0 against Chinese Taipei on Saturday. The team of Tilak Pun Magar, Roshan Nagarkoti and Min Prasad Gauchan faced a 56-50, 55-54, 58-53 defeat in the round of 16 match. Earlier, the Nepali team hammered Qatar by the same scores. Nepal won 50-49, 51-47, 47-45. With this loss, Nepal’s challenge in archery was over.
Three Nepali boxers faced defeats on the second day of the event. Tej Bahadur Deuba lost 3-1 to Khamsathone Khamphouvanh of Laos in men’s Light Flyweight (49kg) category, while Bhupendra Thapa suffered a 4-0 defeat against Obada Alkasbeh of Jordan in the Light Welter (64kg) section. Likewise, Poonam Rawal faced a 5-0 loss at the hands of Wenlu Yang of China in Round of 16 bout of women’s 60kg category.
Nepal’s poor run in golf continued on the third day at the Pondok Indah Golf and Country Club. Sukra Bahadur Rai played five-over 77 and was sharing the 54th position at 18-over 234, while Tanka Bahadur Karki was tied for 63rd position at 24-over 240 after he shot nine-over 81. Ajit BK (81) and Prithvi Malla (79) were at 74th and 77th positions respectively. Leader Keita Nakajima of Japan carded two-under 70 for the 54-hole total of 10-under 206. China’s Cheng Jin and Korea’s Seungtaek Oh — who both played five-under 67 in the third round — shared the second position at seven-under 209.
Likewise, Thai golfer Sadom Kaewkanjana (70) and Japan’s Daiki Imano (69) were tied for fourth at six-under 210. In team event, Nepal were at the 17th position with the total score of 68-over 716 after the golfers shot 237 in the third round. Nepal are ahead of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Mongolia in the 20-team standing.
Medal-hopeful paragliding opened the Team Cross Country event in an impressive note at Gunung Mas Puncak in West Java. The men’s team of Bimal Adhikari, Bijay Gautam, Sushil Gurung, Yukesh Gurung and Bishal Thapa is at the third position after the first round score of 2255. Bimal Adhikari earned 338 points, while Bijay Gautam accumulated 453 and Sushil Gurung scored 477.
Likewise, Yukesh Gurung came up with 987 and Bishal Thapa earned 211 for Nepal. Out of the five players, the best four scores were added to calculate the team score. A total of five rounds will be played in this event. Hosts Indonesia are at the top with the score of 2917, while Korea are second with 2500. Japan (2024) and Hong Kong (1181) are other two nations in top five in the 10-team competition.
In women’s section, Nepal are fourth with the score of 285. The team of Trisha Shrestha Bomjan Tamang, Prativa Bhujel and Sabita Tamang were behind Korea, Japan and Indonesia after the first round. Bomjan Tamang earned 184 points, while two others scored 101 each. The best two scores are added to calculate the team total. Like in men’s section, the teams will compete over five rounds in the 10-team event.
Three Nepali players failed to finish on the podium on the first day of karate although two of them came close to bagging the maiden medal for Nepal on the eighth day of the Asian Games in Jakarta today. Chanchala Danuwar put herself in a position to win bronze medal in women’s singles kata when she entered the bronze medal match in repechage with a 3-2 victory over Ji Ui Kang of DPR Korea. But Danuwar faced a 5-0 defeat at the hands of Thailand’s Monsicha Tararattanakul.
Earlier, Danuwar lost 5-0 against Soi Lam Sou in the first round match. Parshuram Bastola faced a 5-0 loss against Adham Hashem of Qatar in the men’s section first round. In kumite, Rita Karki lost 3-1 to Pakistan’s Nargis in the bronze medal match after she earned a chance in repechage following her 3-0 defeat at the hands of Mengmeng Gao of China in the women’s above-68kg weight category.