Gaurika Singh bags second swimming gold for Nepal

Kathmandu, December 6

Gaurika Singh won her second gold medal in the 13th South Asian Games here at the International Sports Complex pool today.

Olympian Gaurika, who became the first Nepali swimmer to bag a gold medal in individual section yesterday, claimed the women’s 200m backstroke gold in a record time of two minutes and 17.73 seconds. Gaurika broke her national record of 2:41.25 on her way to winning the gold. India’s Manna Rajiv Patel was second in 2:20.71, while Sri Lankan Ganga SD Sen Malwaththage came third in 2:27.25.

The youngest athlete of the Rio Olympic Games, Singh became the fourth Nepali player to win two gold medals in a single meet. Karateka Manday Kaji Shrestha and taekwondo player Ayasha Shakya won two gold medals each on the second day of the Games, while golfer Subash Tamang achieved the feat today.

Gaurika said she was immensely proud of her achievement.

“I am humbled by all the support and adoration I have received here and hope to win more medals for Nepal in coming events,” said Gaurika.

“I am sorry that I had to return quickly without meeting anyone as I needed to take rest and prepare for two events tomorrow (800m freestyle and 100m backstroke),” she added.

Apart from the gold on the first day, Gaurika had also bagged a bronze in 4X100m relay. With her third medal in the Games, Gaurika took her SA Games tally to seven and is second in the list of all-time highest medal winners. She had bagged a silver and three bronze medals in the previous edition of the regional sporting extravaganza in Guwahati three years ago.

Late Sunil Lal Joshi tops the list with 14 medals — five silver and nine bronze medals — in six appearances for Nepal as weightlifter. Unlike current provision of awarding single gold medal, weightlifters used to get three gold medals in one weight category — one each for snatch, clean and jerk, and total.

Meanwhile, Alex Gadegaard Shah broke second national record in the meet. Shah improved on his own mark of 25:06 in the men’s 50-metre freestyle, finishing the race in 23.90 but he was seventh out of eight participants in the swimming event. He had set the new mark of 2:00.04 in men’s 200m freestyle yesterday.