Ayasha, Padma miss gold medal by whisker

Colombo, August 26 :

Padma Gurung and Ayasha Shakya missed the chance to win gold medals by a whisker in taekwondo at the 10th South Asian Games here today. Padma had to content herself with silver largely due to her own mistake, while Ayasha was denied the point she won in the deciding fourth round.

In the Wantem (51-55kg) weight category, Padma was leading 4-2 by the end of the final round against Sri Lankan Jayalami Gomes when she committed a mistake and repeated the same twice again to lose in the fourth round. Despite having the comfortable 4-2 lead, Padma went on for attack.

After both the players earned one point each, Padma repeated the same mistake with just 10 seconds remaining and the bout went into the deciding sudden death round. Padma again made the same mistake and went on for attack that gave Gomes the chance to earn the crucial point in counter attack.

Ayasha struggled in all the three rounds against India’s B Varsha in the Feather Weight section final. She fell 1-2 behind in the first round, while the score line was 3-4 after the second round. Ayasha managed a 4-4 draw in the third round forcing the deciding sudden death.

Ayasha made a brilliant contact to hit her Indian opponent at the beginning, but the referees remained unmoved and Ayasha was denied the point. The Indian player then earned the winning point.

Earlier, Ram Sharan Chaudhary (Wantam weight), Ganesh Khadka (Feather weight) and Pitambar Upreti (Light weight) lost in the first rounds. Nepal will fight for four gold medals on the last day of the taekwondo competition. Deepak Bista, who won gold in the eighth and ninth SAF Games, is the only remaining player fighting for a hat-trick.

Today, Nepal won 10 medals — two gold, four silver and four bronze — taking the total tally to 44. Nepal also made a history in terms of gold medals. Except for the eighth SAF Games in 1999, Nepal’s best show was in the ninth SAF Games in Islamabad in 2004 when the Nepali athletes won seven gold medals.

Players boycot medal ceremony :

COLOMBO: Nepali Taekwondo players boycotted the medal ceremony on Friday protesting the severe biasness in the judgement. Olympian Sangina Baidya (Fly Weight) and Kumar Manandhar (Fin Weight) had won bronze and silver respectively, but did not attend the medal ceremony.

“We should have won at least two gold medals yesterday, but the poor judgement cost us the medals, so we decided to boycott the ceremony,” said coach Nanda Kumar Rai. He also informed that the Nepali squad was willing to pull out of the competition. In the evening, member secretary of National Sports Council and chef-de-mission Jeewan Ram Shrestha and president of Nepal Olympic Committee Rukma Shumsher Rana convinced the players and officials to continue.

“There should be a limit of everything. The referees were biased not only in one bout, but in all the bouts that included Sri Lankan player. So we could not resist and threatened to pull out. Sangina and Kumar should have easily won the gold medals, had they (referees) not given the biased decisions,” added the coach.

“We realised later that it was a matter related to the country, so we came this morning and continued,”

he said. Sangina and Kumar received the medals this afternoon from NOC president Rana. — HNS