Medal hopeful Rasaili loses

KATHMANDU: Nepal’s hopes of earning further medal in wushu evaporated when all three players lost in the first Martial Arts Games in Bangkok today. Nepal are assured of a bronze medal in women’s 60kg wushu following registration of only three players in the event. Samjhana Gurung is representing Nepal in the women’s 60kg bout.

The 10th South Asian Games gold medallist Raj Kumar Rasaili (52kg), Elina Chaudhary (48kg) and Yuvaraj Gurung (56kg) all lost their matches today. Elina lost against an Indian opponent 2-0 while medal hopeful Rasaili also lost 2-0 against an opponent from India in the quarter-finals. “I don’t know what happened out there. I was unable to move my hands and feet properly,” said Rasaili after the defeat.

In the last wushu match, Yuvaraj went down 2-1 against a Hong Kong opponent 2-1 despite taking lead in the first round. The result went against Yuvaraj after the Nepali player brought down his opponent. Furious Nepali coach Chun Bahadur Gurung and chef-de-mission Purendra Bikram Lakhe invaded the arena in protest but they were unable to revert the decision.

Both Chun Bahadur and Purendra Bikram believed that the referee awarded a point to Hong Kong instead of Nepal. “I have been watching all matches here but it was the best I have seen so far,” said Lakhe adding that Yuvaraj fell victim to poor refeering.

In taekwondo, Ashish Maharjan suffered a humiliating 7-0 defeat against Mohammed of Jordan. Ashish trailed 5-0 in the first round against the Olympian and lost the match after conceding further two points in the second round. “It was tough for him (Ashish) as his opponent was a fine player,” said coach Sriman Thapa.

Nepal are scheduled to compete in two karate events on Thursday. Milan Nepali is against a Thai opponent in the men’s 55kg kumite while Ram Limbu is up against an Indonesian opponent in the men’s 60kg section. On Friday, Mukundra Maharjan will face an Afghanistan opponent in 67kg first round bout and Sasank Shrestha, who had a first round bye, will meet the winners the match between a Jordan and Kuwaiti players. On Saturday, Roji Nagarkoti plays a Sri Lankan player in the women’s 55kg kumite and Tara Gurung will face a Jordanian opponent in the women’s 61kg kumite. Nepali karate coach Tulasi Maharjan said that they were hoping at least one medal.