Karate, golf, cricket omitted from SA Games

  •  Regional tournament to be held in February next year 
  • Tennis, Kho-Kho, Triathlon

Kathmandu, October 11

The South Asian Olympic Council meeting today finalised the events to be included in the 12th edition of the South Asian Games.

The meeting decided to hold the Games in February next year in Assam and Guwahati and include 23 sports disciplines in the 12th edition of the regional tournament. The meeting added tennis to the 22 disciplines proposed by the organisers in the previous meeting held in July.

The decision meant karate, golf and cricket were removed from the disciplines included in the previous edition of the tournament held in Bangladesh in 2011, while tennis, kho-kho and trianthlon were added in the list. Nepal Olympic Committee President Jeevan Ram Shrestha, Treasurer Ratan Kumar Tandan and National Sports Council Member Rajendra Shrestha represented Nepal in the meeting attended by the representatives of the participating NOCs in Chennai.

NOC President Shrestha said his efforts of karate inclusion went in vain. “We proposed the SOAC to include karate in the SA Games and other countries also supported us. But it could not be included because of problems within karate bodies in India,” Shrestha said. “They requested us to take back the proposal citing the infighting within the karate associations in India and we could not force them,” he added. “As the organisers told us they were not in position to handle the case, we had to step back.”

Last week, the NOC had summoned presidents and general secretaries of 22 associations to discuss about Nepal’s agenda in the SAOC meeting and most of the officials had urged the NOC to lobby for the inclusion of medal-prospect games including karate. NOC President Shrestha had assured the meeting of proposing karate and women sports in the SA Games. Karate is the most successful sports in terms of medals in the South Asian Games winning a total of 38 medals. Included from the eighth edition in 1999, Nepal won 14 gold medals and one each silver and bronze on home soil. In the previous edition, karate won the most number of the gold medals -- three out of eight – in Nepal’s medal tally.

Meanwhile, the meeting added women events in seven sports — boxing, cycling, football, taekwondo, volleyball, weightlifting and wushu — making all the 23 disciplines for both men and women players. The final sports disciplines to be included in the SA Games are Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Boxing, Cycling, Football, Handball, Hockey, Judo, Kabaddi, Kho-Kho, Shooting, Squash, Swimming, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Triathlon, Tennis, Volleyball, Weightlifting, Wrestling, and Wushu.