Nepal hope to do better in SL

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, June 27:

With less than 300 days remaining for the 10th South Asian (SA) Games, Nepal hope to better its performance of the eighth SAF Games held in Kathmandu in 1999. The SA Games, renamed from South Asian Federation (SAF) Games from this edition, will be held in Sri Lanka from April 18-28, 2006. According to the decisions taken during the ninth SAF Games held in Islamabad in 2003, the countries participating under SAF umbrella will be known as South Asian Olympic Council (SAOC).

The meeting also okayed the mascot for the Games — A cock (Kukula, the national bird of Sri Lanka) carrying the flame.

“In all, 19 games will be included in the 10th edition of the SA Games, and the meeting has given the power to the organising committee to include hockey depending on the availability of sponsors,” said National Sports Council member secretary Kishor Bahadur Singh, who took part in the SAOC executive meeting in Colombo on June 23.

The events are Athletics, Badminton, Boxing, Football, Kabaddi, Taekwondo, Rowing, Shooting, Squash, Swimming, Table Tennis, Karate, Volleyball, Weightlifting, Wrestling, Judo, Cycling, Wushu and Archery.

“Nepal will take part in 17 events except Rowing and Cycling,” said Singh. “The players are undergoing regular training, and we will hold the selection tournament and camps in near future,” said Singh.

“We could not put up better results in the ninth SAF Games, but we are committed in doing better this time around,” said Singh.

“We will start our countdown as soon as we get budget from the government,” said Singh, adding “We have asked for Rs 50 million, including Rs 30.2 million for the preparation.”

Nepal finished second in the eighth SAF Games with a total of 65 medals including 31 golds — one in swimming, two in boxing and 28 in martial arts.

Singh also said that the meeting decided to drop 20k walking, 10,000m, triple jump and marathon events in women’s section, while in men’s section the 20k walking was also scrapped.

“The events were dropped as the participating nations failed to field athletes in those events,” he added.

However, Nepal failed to convince the meeting to include Under-60kg and Above-60kg bouts in women’s karate, the medal hopes for Nepal.

All the weight category bouts in women’s boxing were dropped, whille two weight categories in women’s taekwondo were scrapped.

The only addition in women’s section came in volleyball event, while upto 50-kg bout in men’s wrestling was added in men’s section making it nine gold weight categories, but with a condition that a country can take part in only eight categories.

According to Singh, Mountain bike event in cycling was dropped, while three weight-

category bouts in men’s Wushu and all the weight categories in women’s sections were cancelled due to lack of participants.