Karki lowers own mark

Kathmandu, August 15:

Nepali swimmer Karishma Karki lowered her personal mark in the women’s 50-metre freestyle heat at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games today.

Karki completed the course in 32.35 seconds at the National Aquatics Centre in Beijing. Her previous best was 34.57 seconds, which she set at the 2007 FINA World Swimming Championship in Melbourne, Australia. The performance had earned her the wild card entry for the Olympics.

Despite finishing the Heat 2 in second position out of the eight participants, Karki failed in her bid to break the national record. Runa Pradhan holds the national record of 31.28 seconds, which she set at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. However, Karki’s timing is the second best by a Nepali woman swimmer. On Thursday, another swimmer Prasiddha Jung Shah also bettered his personal mark in the men’s 50-metre freestyle event.

Thapa to run today

KATHMANDU: Chandra Kala Thapa will be running in the women’s 100m heat at the Beijing Olympics in her bid to break the national record on Saturday.

The Nepal Police Club athlete earned the wild card entry after posting the timing of 12.54 seconds in the selection tournament in Kathmandu. However, it will be a tough time for Thapa to break the national record as she has not gone below the mark of 12.43 seconds in training. Devi Maya Paneru holds the 100-metre national record with the timing of 12.19 seconds.

Thapa, who holds the 400-metre national record, has enough international experience as she has participated in the ninth and 10th South Asian Games, Word Championship in France and 17th Asian Championship in Jordon in 2007.

Another Nepali athlete, Arjun Kumar Basnet is slated to run the marathon on August 24. Apart from the two athletes, taekwondo ace Deepak Bista is the only other hope for Nepal in the Beijing Games. Bista, the only player in the eight-member team who qualified for the Olympics, is expected to win Nepal’s first-ever Olympic medal. The draw for Bista’s welter-weight category is slated for August 18.