Nepal bag first medal in Bangkok

KATHMANDU: Nepal bagged their first medal in the first Asian Martial Arts Games today despite losing all league round matches in the below 60kg weight category of wushu’s sansau event in Bangkok, Thailand.

At the Sufanbury Sports Centre, Samjhana Gurung lost 2-1 to Merin of Philippines but still took a bronze since only three countries participated in the category. Gurung aggregated two points in the league round to finish third. She earned one point on Thursday while losing to her Chinese opponent. Nepal’s participation in wushu ended with the consolation medal.

Meanwhile, after six days of participation, Nepal registered their maiden victory in the Games. At the Indoor Stadium Humark, Roji Nagarkoti defeated Chandrika Seneviratne of Sri Lanka 2-0 in the below 55kg weight category of women’s karate to reach the quarter-finals.

Nagarkoti later lost to Japan’s Miki Kowaya with a humiliating score of 8-0 in the last eight. She was defeated in just 43 seconds following the disparity in points. Nagarkoti found herself in the third place match when Kowaya reached the final but she was unable to capitalise on the opportunity losing 8-0 to So Yo Jong of Korea.

Earlier, Mukunda Maharjan, playing in the below 67kg section in the men’s karate, lost 6-0 to Afghanistan’s Sayed Mohammad. In Nepal’s final karate event of the day, Shashank Shrestha advanced to the quarter-finals earning a default victory in the below 75kg bout.

His opponent, Mohammad Alamesafer of Kuwait, was disqualified for breaching the rules. Shashank was on the floor when Alamesafer charged on his head. Alamsafer was 4-3 ahead and the Kuwaiti once again charged the unconscious Shashank prompting the referees to disqualify him.

In the quarter-final match, however, Shashank’s opponent from Hong Kong was declared the winner after the referees thought Shashank was not in condition to continue with the bout. “I was putting a good challenge and thought I could win but his foul play ousted me,” Shashank said.

Today’s karate event also raised questions over organiser’s management. The organisers were unable to produce an ambulance for Shashank in time which even infuriated Nepal’s Chef-de-Mission Purendra Bikram Lakhe. Lakhe said he would raise the issue in Saturday’s meeting. Nepal’s participation in the first Martial Arts Games will end on Saturday with Tara Gurung’s bout in the women’s below 61kg weight category.