Nepali players falter in Martial Arts Games

KATHMANDU: Nepal’s disappointing run in the first Martial Arts Games in Bangkok continued on the second day.

Judo player Kaluman Tamang and taekwondo players Sakumar Basnet and Apsara Karki failed to capitalise in on the wonderful chances to win medal.

Kaluman was the luckiest of all the Nepali players having entered semi-finals directly. However, he suffered a humiliating loss against Korean opponent Kwang Young in just 15 seconds in the semi-finals. Kaluman had a first round bye while his quarter-final opponent of Kyrgyzstan failed to report sending the Nepali judoka directly in the semis.

After losing the semi-final match, Kaluman suffered yet another crushing defeat in the bronze medal contest. He was knocked out in just five seconds by Barasi of Mangolia. Nepal’s challenge in judo ended with defeat of Kaluman. Three other judo players — Sushila Adhikari, Ramesh Magar and Saroj Maharjan — have already been eliminated on Sunday.

In taekwondo, both Apsara and Sakumar were placed directly in the quarter-finals. Fighting in the women’s 47-51kg section, Apsara lost against K Safika of Afghanistan 1-0 while Sakumar failed to hold on to the lead in the dying moments of the match to lose 4-3 against H Abulabati of Jordan.

Competing in the men’s 54-58kg section, Sakumar had maintained one point lead going into the third round before losing the match in the final few seconds. He had a 2-1 lead in the first and 3-2 lead in the second round. Sakumar had a first round bye and received a walkover win from Palestinian opponent in the second round.

“My body gave way in the last round,” said Sakumar. Generalising the Nepali players, Sakumar blamed lack of proper diet which resulted in the loss of energy and ultimately the match. Nepal’s taekwondo coach Sriman Thapa, however, praised the way his players performed.

Only one taekwondo match is scheduled for Tuesday. Sabina Maharjan will take on S Shradarova of Kazakhstan in the women’s 51-55kg bout. Meanwhile, six Nepali karate players and four wushu players landed in Bangkok today.