Kathmandu, November 27
Wushuka Nima Gharti Magar is confident of defending her gold medal in the 13th South Asian Games slated for December 1-10 in Kathmandu, Pokhara and Janakpur.
Gharti Magar, one of the two individual section gold medallist of the 12th SA Games held in the Indian cities of Guwahati and Shillong three years ago, said she had improved significantly. “I can feel that I have improved since winning the gold in Shillong,” said Gharti Magar.
Nepal had bagged three gold medals in India, with judoka Phupu Lhamu Khatri and U-23 men’s football team being the two others.
Judoka Khatri is not taking part in the Games due to suspension from Nepal Judo Association and Nepal Olympic Committee for unilaterally quitting the Olympic training in Japan. Gharti Magar hoped to repeat the feat, this time on home soil.
“I have put in a lot of hard works in training. The coaches have also worked hard to prepare us and I am hopeful of winning gold medal,” she said.
Coach Prakash Lama was also satisfied with her progress.
“She has really improved on her performance compared to that of the last edition. Wushu is all about quality of movement, degree of difficulties and overall performance. We can expect gold from Nima as she has improved in all aspects,” added Lama.
The wushu team, however, has a common complaint: the training facilities.
A total of 17 players are undergoing intensive training at Nepali Army Sports Complex covered hall in Lalitpur but the Nepal Wushu Federation has not been able to provide them with proper facilities. The players are forced to train on karate mat and old gears after National Sports Council failed to arrange equipment on time.
Along with Gharti Magar, fellow Taolu player Deepak Hamal and sanshou’s Juni Rai were also upbeat about putting up strong shows in the SA Games. Satisfied with the training and exposure ahead of international participation, Hamal said he was confident of giving the best in his maiden SA Games appearance. “Although we are making compromises, I am confident of putting up a strong performance and win gold medal for the country,” said Hamal, who finished ninth among 56 participants in last month’s World Championship in China.
Rai was not in mood to get affected with the poor facilities and said the players needed to focus on performance.
“We have received adequate training and it would be a waste of time to think about other things except for gold medal. We need in put in our best show with gold medal being the only focus,” she added.
Sanshau coach Ganesh Aryal said had faith in his players and claimed they would win two to three gold medals in the Games. “These players are undergoing training for a long time and despite all odds, we are hoping satisfactory results from sansau players,” he added.
Wushu offers a total of 22 gold medals and each country is allowed to field a maximum of 17 players. In the absence of Bhutan and Maldives, players from five nations will take part in the sports discipline.
A version of this article appears in print on November 28, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.