Nepal | January 25, 2020

Boxer Gurung creates history

Thapa Magar bags first men’s section gold for Nepal in 20 years

Mahesh Acharya

Lalitpur, December 9

Minu Gurung became the first female boxer to win gold medal for Nepal in the 13th South Asian Games at the International Sports Complex covered hall today.

Gurung defeated Indian boxer Shiksha by unanimous decision in the women’s 54kg weight category. Gurung had beaten Bangladesh’s Onita Islam in the semi-finals on Saturday.

The bronze medallist of the 12th SA Games in Shillong three years ago, Gurung expressed her happiness to be able to create history. “Being a woman, I could create history and I am happy to write my name in the history books,” she said.

The 29-year-old Gurung, who has been affiliated to Tribhuvan Army Club for the nine years, said she came into sports following her bother Bir Bahadur Gurung’s footsteps. “I was attracted towards karate in the beginning but my seniors and coaches suggested me to move to boxing after seeing my aggressiveness,” said Gurung, who hails from Rampur in Chitwan district. Gurung dedicated the medal to her mother. “My mother always inspired me to do well and I could not have reached to this stage without her full support,” said Gurung.

Gurung said the foreign training in Uzbekistan helped her a lot in shaping up and the coaches were behind making them mentally strong. “We were physically strong and the coaches put in a lot of efforts in preparing us technically and mentally,” said Gurung, who was ready to face Indian opponent. “I had lost to Indian boxer three years ago but I was mentally prepared for the bout this time around.

After bagging bronze in Shillong three years ago, I had convinced myself to rise to the top in the 13th SA Games,” she added.

“And the support from the crowd also boosted my morale in the final.”

Meanwhile, Bhupendra Thapa became the first Nepali boxer to win men’s section gold medal in 20 years. Thapa defeated India’s world championship bronze medal winning boxer Manish Kaushik by points in the 64kg bout. He had made it to the final beating Mohd Alamin of Bangladesh on Saturday. No boxer was able to win gold medal in regional sporting extravaganza since Thapa Magar siblings Ram Chandra and Prakash, who had claimed golds in the eighth SAF Games in Kathmandu in 1999.

Out of the eight finals, Indian boxers won the remaining six gold medals, while Lalita Maharjan and Sangita Sunar bagged silver medals for Nepal. Maharjan lost to India’s Kalaivani Srinivasan in 48kg section final, while Sangita Sunar lost to India’s Parven in split decision in the 60kg weight category.

Nepali boxers added three bronze medals to the tally after Sushil Thapa Magar (49kg), Pooran Rai (56kg) and Arjun Sigu (91kg) lost in semi-finals.

India lead the table with six gold, two silver and one bronze, while Nepal are second with two each gold and silver along with three bronze medals. Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Bhutan have bagged one silver each. The final day offers eight gold medals with five Nepali boxers in final.


Fencing

KATHMANDU: Nepal added two silver medals on Monday to finish with a total of 10 medals in fencing.

Nepali teams lost to India in the finals of the women’s epee and sabre events. Bangladesh and Sri Lankan teams bagged bronze medals in both events. In men’s foil team event final, India defeated Bangladesh, while Nepal and Sri Lanka bagged bronze. Out of 12 gold medals, India claimed 11 along with five silver and one bronze. Bangladesh claimed one gold, three silver and seven bronze medals, while Nepal bagged four silver and six bronze medals.


Kabaddi

KATHMANDU: Nepal claimed historic silver medal in kabaddi.

The women’s team finished second for the first time after they faced a 50-13 defeat at the hands of India in the final match at the Nepal APF Club in Halchowk. India made it two in two with a 51-18 victory over Sri Lanka in men’s section final. A total of nine teams, five in men’s and four in women’s sections, took part in the tournament which was played under round robin league.


Cricket

KATHMANDU: Bangladesh won gold medal in men’s cricket after their seven-wicket victory over Sri Lanka at the TU Stadium.

Batting first, Sri Lanka posted 122- 8 in 20 overs before Bangladesh reached 123-3 with 11 balls to spare. Nepal bagged bronze medal after beating Maldives by five wickets in the third-place playoff match. Batting first, Maldives scored 94-7 in 20 overs before Nepal raced to 95-5 in 16.1 overs.


Tennis

LALITPUR: India clean swept tennis events winning all seven gold medals — two each in singles, doubles, team events and one in mixed doubles. Manish Suresh Kumar and Satwika Sama won the singles titles beating fellow Indian players in finals. India also bagged five silver medals, while Pakistan won one silver and six bronze medals. Sri Lanka bagged one silver, while Nepal bagged five bronze medals and Bhutan won one bronze.


Basketball

KATHMANDU: Nepali women’s team advanced to the final in basketball tournament. Nepal defeated Maldives 68-55 in semi-finals to set date with India, who thrashed Bhutan 134-27. Anusha Malla top scored for Nepal with 19 points.

In men’s section, India and Sri Lanka made it to the final. Sri Lanka defeated Bangladesh 73-52, while India thrashed Nepal 107- 58. In 3X3 section, Nepal finished second following their 21-15 defeat against India in men’s section.

India won second gold after their 15-12 victory over Sri Lanka in women’s section.


A version of this article appears in print on December 10, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.


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