KATHMANDU, JULY 22
Nepali judoka Soniya Bhatta will face Russian Irina Dolgova in the round of 32 elimination match of the women's below-48kg weight category in the Tokyo Olympic Games on Saturday.
As per the draw made public on Thursday, Bhatta was drawn against Dolgova, who is taking part in the Olympics under Russian Olympic Committee flag due to the IOC sanctions over her country.
While Bhatta is ranked 127th in the world, Dolgova is placed at No 9.
The Nepal Police Club judoka, Bhatta - bagged bronze medal in the 13th South Asian Games held on home soil in 2019 and won gold in the Judo Championship in Bangladesh the same year - earned wild card for the Games.
She is the fifth Nepali judoka to compete in the Olympics after Rishiram Pradhan and Ganga Bahadur Dangol (Seoul 1988), Devu Thapa (Beijing 2008) and Phupu Lhamu Khatri (Rio 2016). Lhamu Khatri created a piece of history in Rio after she became the first Nepali judoka to play full four minutes - against Cuba's Maricet Espinosa in the women's below-63kg category.
Apart from Bhatta, swimmers Gaurika Singh and Alexander Gadegaard Shah, athlete Saraswati Chaudhary and shooter Kalpana Pariyar will take part in the Games in Tokyo.
Swimmers Singh and Shah will carry the national flag during the participating teams' march past at the opening ceremony on Friday.
A version of this article appears in the print on July 23 2021, of The Himalayan Times.