Singh shatters national records in two events

Kathmandu, August 17

Gaurika Singh broke two national records on her way to winning two gold medals on the opening day of the NSA Cup Swimming Championship here at the International Sports Complex pool today.

London-based Singh, who came here to participate in the championship, set new national records in women’s 200m freestyle and 50m butterfly events breaking the marks of Sofia Gadegaard Shah on both occasions. With 28th and 29th national records of her career in individual events, Singh took the overall tally to 32.

Singh, who represented Tribhuvan Army Club, won the 200m freestyle with the timing of two minutes and 11.94 seconds breaking the previous mark of 2:13.32 set by Sofia Gadegaard Shah during the 12th South Asian Games held in Guwahati, India last year. Duana Lama of Nepal APF Club came second in 2:33.18, while her teammate Upasthati Maharjan was third in 2:49.31.

The 14-year-old Singh also shattered women’s 50m butterfly event record in heats. Singh set the new mark of 29.40 seconds in heats before winning the gold medal in 29.78 seconds. Shah held the record of 32.06 set during the seventh National Games in Kathmandu in 2016. APF duo Tenzing Doma Sherpa (37.53) and Upasthati Maharjan (37.82) came second and third respectively.

“I am really happy as had not thought of making national records,” said Singh, the youngest athlete of the Rio Olympic Games, who was satisfied with her overall performance on the first day. “I performed better here than in England and I hope to do well in other three events also,” added Singh, who created history in the 12th SA Games in India last year by winning a silver and three bronze medals in individual events.

“I feel nostalgic while playing in Nepal as there are so many friends around you. This time, the pool is also better and I am enjoying the game,” said Singh, who joined Tribhuvan Army Club a couple of days earlier. “I am proud to be a part of Nepal Army.” Asked about her next target, Singh said she had a dream of winning gold in SA Games and make country proud. “After the national championship, I have make plans to participate in SA Games and make country proud by winning gold medal,” said Singh.

Duana Lama of APF shattered 11-year-old record in women’s 200m breaststroke heats. Lama completed the distance in three minutes and 7.22 seconds breaking Bibidha Rimal’s mark of 3:12.85 set during the 10th South Asian Games held in Colombo in 2006. Lama went on to win gold medal in 3:8.32 seconds, while her teammate Upasthiti Maharjan came second in 3:19.50 and Adipsa Vaidya was third in 3:24.82.

Shuvam Shrestha and Kiran Karki bettered the previous national record in men’s 200m breaststroke event. The APF Club swimmer Shrestha covered the distance in two minutes and 36.75 seconds to win gold with new national record, while Central Region’s Karki came in 2:42.13 for silver. Shrestha held the record of 2:42.62 set during the South Asian Aquatics Championship held in Colombo in 2016. Sayed Hamja Shah of Central was third in 2:58.55.

In other men’s section events, Anubhav Subba of TAC won the 200m freestyle event in 2:15.78, while APF’s Devesh Manandhar (2:18.65) came second and Sayed Hamja Shah (2:22.78) of Central was third. Subba got his second gold medal of the day in the 200m butterfly. He finished first in 2:42.85, while APF’s Jenish Maharjan came second in 2:58.81 and TAC swimmer Bishma Bahadur Baduwal was third in 3:13.39.

Subba bagged his third gold medal in the 50m butterfly when he covered the distance in 29.13 seconds. APF’s Devesh Manandhar came second in 30 seconds, while Ugyen Sherpa of Central was third in 30.31 seconds. Subba won the fourth and final gold medal of the day in the 50m backstroke event when he came first in 34.03 seconds in the final, finishing ahead of APF’s Nitesh Manandhar (34.90) and TAC’s Dilip Thapa Magar (35.71).

Likewise, Rupesh Chaudari of TAC bagged the 200m backstroke gold with the timing of 2:49.13, finishing ahead of APF’s Devesh Manandhar (2:52.56) and Manoj Bakhato (2:54.85) of Central Region.

In women’s section, Sameeta Shova Thapa of Western Region won the 50m backstroke gold medal with the timing of 41.06 seconds, while Anushiya Tandukar (42.63) of Central and Anushka Pokhrel (43.31) of Western came second and third respectively.

Nepal APF Club team of Devesh Manandhar, Nitesh Manandhar, Shuvam Shrestha and Jenish Maharjan won the men’s 4X100m free relay in four minutes and 15.93 seconds, while TAC (4:24.00) and Central (4:28.34) came second and third. The women’s section gold medal also went to APF team of Upaasti Maharjan, Tenzing Dolma Sherpa, Yashwant Shrestha and Duana Lama who competed the distance in 5:14.50. Central Region came second in 5:18.18 and Central finished third in 6:05.57.

According to Nepal Swimming Association, two women’s events — 200m butterfly and 200m backstroke — were cancelled due to lack of minimum four swimmers.