Nepal end SA Games on winning note
Kathmandu, December 10
Boxer Sanil Shahi completed Nepal’s half century of gold medals, while the U-23 football team beat Bhutan clinching the last gold on offer to end the 13th South Asian Games on a winning note here today.
Shahi defeated Indian boxer Varinder Singh in the men’s 60kg category final at the International Sports Complex to win Nepal’s 50th gold medal in the regional sporting extravaganza before the football team made it a perfect day for the hosts with a 2-1 victory over Bhutan in the final at the Dasharath Stadium. Abhishek Rijal and Sunil Bal netted one goal each as the U-23 team defended the title they won in Guwahati beating India in the final three years ago.
The 13th edition of the SA Games ended on a high for the hosts as Nepal bagged record 51 gold medals apart from 59 silver and 94 bronze medals -- 204 in total, crossing the three-figure mark for the first time. Nepal finished second behind all-time champions India, who bagged 174 golds, along with 93 silver and 45 bronze medals.
Half century of golds
Sri Lanka finished third with 40 gold medals, followed by Pakistan (31) and Bangladesh (19). The 13th edition was also special for Maldives as they bagged maiden gold medal of the SA Games when Hassan Saaid sprinted to victory in men’s 100m race. Bhutan was the lone participant who failed to win a single gold medal in the meet.
Taekwondo player Saksham Karki created history after winning the 100th gold medal in the regional meet, while athlete Kiran Singh Bogati won first marathon gold for Nepal in 24 years. Golfer Subash Tamang became the third Nepali player to win two gold medals in the same edition of the SA Games.
Nepal bagged golds in half of the 26 sports disciplines included in the Games. In the edition that saw the revival of martial arts, taekwondo players bagged the highest number of golds for Nepal (12), while karatekas claimed 10, followed by wushukas (five) and judokas (two). Taekwondo players and karatekas had bagged 14 golds each in 1999 SAF Games on their way to leading Nepal to second position for the first time.
The most successful athlete of the meet, swimmer Singh carried Nepal’s flag during the march-pass at the closing ceremony before deputy Prime Minister Ishwor Pokharel declared the Games closed. PM KP Sharma Oli is scheduled to meet all the medallists along with presidents and general secretaries of their respective national associations and also announce the reward package for the champions.
Women leave their mark with 30 golds
- Triathlon athlete Soni Gurung opened Nepal’s account with first-ever gold medal of the sport
- Swimmer Gaurika Singh was the most successful player of the 13th SA Games as she bagged four gold medals on her way to winning nine medals
- Taekwondo player Ayasha Shakya became the first Nepali woman player to win three gold medals in the SAG before Singh overtook her
- Santoshi Shrestha won 10,000m race to become first ever Nepali woman athlete to win gold medal
- Sanju Chaudhary created history when she won Nepal’s first-ever gold in women’s section in weightlifting
- Sangita Dhami claimed historic gold medal in wrestling
- Minu Gurung became the first female boxer to win a gold medal for Nepal
- Duana Lama was the youngest Nepali athlete in the 13th South Asian Games and the 13-year-old swimmer claimed two silver and three bronze medals
- Women athletes bagged 30 of the 51 gold medals for Nepal