Boxer Deepak barred from regional meet

KATHMANDU: Nepali boxer Deepak Maharjan has been barred from the 11th South Asian Games after the organising committee excluded the 81kg weight category.

In a farewell programme for the Nepali boxing team, Nepal Boxing Association (NBA) president Rabi Raj Thapa informed that the organisers excluded the category at the last moment without any prior notice. “We had selected Deepak but the organisers informed us about its exclusion at the last moment,” informed Thapa.

Deepak, however, joined the nine-member team that left for Dhaka today. Thapa also said it was a severe blow for Nepal as Deepak had the potential to win medal at the regional meet. “Nothing is going in favour of Nepal. First the lift mishap in Dhaka, weight lifter Kamal being barred from competing in the desired weight category, the upside down hoisting of Nepali flag and now the exclusion of 81kg category in boxing,” lamented Thapa. It was even more frustrating when the organisers did not send the accreditation card for the team manager Rajeev Shrestha.

The other players in boxing include Laxman Saud (51kg), Devendra Raj Singh (54kg), Sachin Raut (48kg), Dinesh Shrestha (57kg), Ajit Gurung (60kg) and Sushil Ghimire (64kg). Nepali boxing coach Prachanda Sharma was hopeful of earning medals in Dhaka. “We have done preparations at our best. Especially the 21-day training provided by the Thailand Boxing Association in Bangkok has helped us a lot,” said the coach.

Boxer Ajit Gurung said the training in Bangkok had broken the monotonous session of Nepal. “We were lacking sparring partners in Nepal and played against different weight categories but in Bangkok we had bout against the players of our own categories. It was a good experience for us,” said Gurung.

Meanwhile, the NBA treasurer Ram Awale announced cash prizes of Rs 50,000, Rs 20,000 and Rs 10,000 to the gold, silver and bronze medal winners at the regional meet. The NBA president Thapa also assured the boxers of rewarding them with cash prizes. Also, the former Nepali boxer Krishna Raj Gurung annoucned of awarding the medallists with Rs 50,000, Rs 25,000 and Rs 10,000 respectively.