Judoka Khatri to carry Nepal’s flag in Rio Olympics

Kathmandu, July 30

Judoka Phupu Lhamu Khatri will carry national flag during the opening ceremony of the Rio Olympic Games slated for August 5-21 at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Nepal Olympic Committee (NOC) President Jeevan Ram Shrestha informed that the 12th South Asian Games gold medallist Khatri will carry the national flag in the march past of the opening ceremony. “Khatri was given the responsibility following her performance in the SAG held in India where she bagged gold medal in judo,” said Shrestha.

A 27-member team, including seven players and five coaches, is travelling to Brazil for the Olympic Games. Among the seven players picked for the 31st Olympic Games, judoka Khatri, taekwondo player Nisha Rawal and archer Jit Bahadur Moktan earned wildcard entries, while swimmers Shirish Gurung and Gaurika Singh and athletes Saraswati Bhattarai and Hari Kumar Rimal were selected through universality places.

Khatri, Gurung and Rawal are among the six players who had been training under Olympic Scholarship Programme for the games.

Athlete Rimal will participate in 5,000m race, while Bhattarai will take part in 1,500m. Swimmer Gurung will compete in 100m freestyle event and Singh will swim in 100m backstroke. Similarly, judoka Khatri will fight in 63kg weight category, whereas taekwondo player Rawal will take part in 67kg section.

Archer Moktan will compete in Individual Recurve 70m section. Coaches Ishwor Kumar Karki (swimming), Debu Thapa (judo), Deepak Raj Gurung (archery), Pushpa Raj Ojha (athletics) and Sangina Baidya (taekwondo) will accompany the players to Rio de Janeiro. Among them, Thapa, Ojha and Baidya are Olympians.

National Sports Council Member Secretary Keshab Kumar Bista is the Chef-de-Mission of Nepali contingent, while NOC President Shrestha and Secretary General Lama Tendi Sherpa are among the officials to go to Brazil.

Likewise, NOC Vice-president Jyoti Rana, Treasurer Ratan Kumar Tandon, Members Ashok Ratna Bajracharya, Deepak Harsha Bajracharya, Ramesh Kumar Shrestha, Samim Miya Ansari and Nilendra Raj Shrestha, who is also the convenor of Nepal’s Olympics Preparation Committee, are also scheduled to attend the Games along with Dr Saroj Krishna Shrestha and NOC staff Sujan Lal Shrestha and Rajan Shrestha.

Non Resident Nepali (NRN) President Shesh Ghale and Shivani Air proprietor Manindra Lal Shrestha will attend the Games as NOC’s guests.

NOC President Shrestha thanked the Global IME Bank Pvt Ltd for sponsoring kits worth one million rupees for the Olympic squad. As per the agreement between the two sides, Nepali team will wear jerseys with bank’s logo, while the bank will use NOC’s logo for its branding.

Shrestha also informed that NOC was set to sign an agreement worth two million rupees with Shivani Air. Meanwhile, Nepal Volleyball Association President Manoranjan Raman Sharma announced a reward of Rs 25,000 each to the players who break national records during the Rio Olympics.

Chef-de-mission Keshab Kumar Bista and NOC staff Sujan Lal Shrestha left for Brazil today, while three teams — swimming, archery and judo — are scheduled to depart on Sunday. Athletics team will leave for Rio on August 7, while taekwondo team is scheduled to go to Brazil on August 12.