Kathmandu, December 6
Gopi Chandra Parki gave Nepal second track and field gold medal in the 13th South Asian Games here at the Dasharath Stadium today.
Two days after Santoshi Shrestha became the first-ever Nepali woman athlete to win gold medal, Parki won the 5,000m race with the timing of 14 minutes and 54.20 seconds. India’s Sunil Dabar came second in 14:55.21, while Nepal’s Hari Kumar Rimal bagged bronze in 14:58.57.
Running in the pace with leading pack for most of the race, Parki fell some 20 metres behind the Indian athlete with 100m remaining. But he increased his pace and overtook his opponent just before crossing the finish line.
Parki said the gold medal finish fulfilled one his two dreams in athletics. “Our teacher in school had told us that Rajendra Bahandari was stripped of the 5,000m gold medal he won in 2006. And that day I had promised myself to get that medal back for the country,” said Parki. “I started running from school level and came to Kathmandu seven years ago. I joined Nepal APF Club with the aim of winning the 5,000m gold medal and it took me almost 13 years and a lot of hard works to get it done,” he said.
Parki said he pushed himself hard when the Indian athlete went ahead of him. “I had to win this medal at any cost. I ran with their pace throughout the race and pushed hard at the last moment as it was a do or die situation,” he said. “I am grateful to all those who supported me in my dream of winning back the gold medal to the country and Nepali athletics.”
Bhandari had won 5,000, and 3,000m steeplechase gold medals in the 2006 SA Games in Colombo before being stripped of the medals after he failed drug test. Afte serving two-year suspension, Bhandari won marathon gold medal in 2010 Dhaka SA Games but that was later changed to Road Race due to the organisers’ mistake in measuring the course.
Parki said his next dream was to break the record of legendary marathon runner Baikuntha Manandhar. “He has always inspired us to break his record in marathon. My next goal is to break his record,” said Parki, who has already participated in five marathon races. “I will now focus in marathon as I want to fulfill his wish and break the record,” said Parki. Manandhar holds the marathon record of 2:15.03 set in the third SAF Games in Kolkata in 1987 on his way to completing the hat-trick.
The gold medal won by Parki is seventh by Nepali athletes. Manandhar stays at the top with three, while another long-distance runner Tika Bogati, Bhandari and Santoshi Shrestha have one each. Shrestha, who bagged 10,000m gold two days ago, finished fourth in 5,000 race today. Sri Lankan athlete Uda Kuburalej won gold in 16:55.18, while Indian dup Parul Chaudhary (16:57.49) and Priti Lamba (17:09.32) came second and third. Shrestha finished the race in 17:13.68, while another Nepali athlete Bishwo Rupa Buda did not took part in the event due to illness.
Nepal’s Chandra Kala Thapa broke the national record in women’s shot put after she covered the distance of 12.52 metres improving on her previous best of 12.4m. Indian athletes claimed gold and bronze, while Sri Lanka bagged silver in the event. In men’s section, India’s Tejender Pal set the championship record with a distance of 20.03 metres. He broke fellow Indian Bahadur Shah’s record
of 19.15m set during the 1999 SAF Games in Kathmandu. Another Indian athlete Om Prakash Singh came second with 17.31m, while Sri Lankan Smith Madhushankh bagged bronze with 15.55.
KATHMANDU: Nepal won six medals in table tennis. Nepal bagged silver medal in men’s team event and five bronze medals in women’s team event, men’s singles, men’s doubles and mixed doubles.
Nepal No 1 Santoo Shrestha and Purushottam Bajracharya lost to Indian opponents in men’s singles bu they bagged first ever singles medals. Shrestha faced 11-4, 12-10, 11-8, 11-2 defeat at the hands of India’s Amalraj Anthony, while Bajracharya lost 11-5, 11-4, 11-1, 11-4 against Harmit Desai.
The silver medal won by men’s team is also the historic one as Nepal had never reached final in previous edition. Santoo Shrestha, Shiva Sundar Gothe and Purushottam Bajracharya had made it to the maiden final before losing to India.
The team of Nabita Shrestha, Rabina Maharjan and Sikka Suwal bagged bronze in women’s team event, while Nabita and Santoo won mixed doubles bronze and Santoo teamed up with Binesh Khaniya to bag men’s doubles bronze.
LALITPUR: Prerana Koirala advanced to the women’s singles semi-final confirming at least bronze medal for Nepal. Koirala defeated Maldives’ Jenia Abdul Rasid 7-5, 6-1 in the quarter-final match and will face Satwik Sama for a place in the final. Sama beat Pakistan’s Ushna Suhel 6-2, 6-3.
India’s Saujanya Bhavi Shetty beat Nepal’s Saloni Tamang 6-0, 6-0 to set the last four date with Sri Lanka’s Chole Seneviratne, who defeated Pakistan’s Mahin Aftab Queresi. In women’s doubles, Koirala and Tamang advanced to the semi-finals with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Bangladeshi pair of Susmita Sen and Rinvi Ahther, while another Nepali pair of Abhilasha Bista and Ira Rawat beat Pakistan’s Sara Mehboob Khan and Mahin Aftab Queresi 6-2, 2-6, 13-11.
KATHMANDU: Nepal advanced to the women’s semi-finals as runners-up in kabaddi.
Nepal faced a 41-19 defeat at the hands of India in the match played to decide the group winners as both teams had already advanced to the final.
Bottom two teams, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka finished joint third. In men’s section, Sri Lanka beat Nepal 34-22, while India hammered Pakistan 49-22 in league matches.
LALITPUR: Aashish Duwadi and Poonam Rawal earned byes to advance to the final, while three Nepali boxers Sushil Thapa Magar, Sanil Shahi and Bhupendra Thapa Magar made it to the semi-finals on the first day of the boxing tournament. Duwadi (91kg) and Rawal (64kg) have confirmed at least silver medals after they were directly drawn in the finals.
At the International Sports Complex, Sushil defeated Sri Lankan boxer Mutunakapa PG in the men’s 49kg section, while Shahi beat Bhutan’s Nima Dorji in the 60kg weight category.
Likewise, Bhupendra earned a RSC decision over Dorji Wangdi of Bhutan in the first round. In another match, Deepak Shrestha lost to India’s Ankit Khatan in 75kg section.
POKHARA: Nepal faced a 41-run defeat at the hands of Sri Lanka in women’s cricket tournament at the Pokhara Stadium.
The loss ended Nepal’s hopes of advancing to the final. Sri Lanka will face Bangladesh in Sunday’s final, while Nepal will take on Maldives in the third-place playoff match.
Batting first, Sri Lanka posted 118-7 in 20 overs before restricting the home team to 77-9. Lihini Apsara top scored for Sri Lanka 37 off 25 balls that included five boundaries, while Janadi Anjali struck a four and two sixes in her 36-ball 35. Saraswati Kumari and Sonu Khadka claimed two wickets each for Nepal, while Anjali Chand bagged one. In reply, skipper Rubina Chhetry Belbashi top scored for Nepal with 19 off 28 balls that included two fours. Kabita Kunwar remained unbeaten on run-a-ball 13, while Karuna Bhandari (12) and Apsari Begam (11) were the other batters to score in double figures. Sachini Nisansala was the pick of the Sri Lanka bowlers taking 3-16, while Sathya Sandeepani grabbed two wickets.
POKHARA: India, Pakistan and Bangladesh joined Nepal in the semi-finals of women’s handball tournament. Nepal topped Group B to make it to the last four, while Bangladesh finished runners-up. India and Pakistan claimed top two spots respectively in Group A.
In semi-finals, Nepal will face Pakistan, while India will play against Bangladesh. Earlier, India defeated Pakistan 45-24 to top the group, while Bangladesh beat Sri Lanka 34-13 in Group B match.
Nepal had already made it to the semis with wins over Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. In men’s section, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka advanced to the last four. In Saturday’s semi-finals, India will face Sri Lanka, while Pakistan will take on Bangladesh. On Friday, India defeated Maldives 47-15, while Pakistan beat Sri Lanka 42-20 in league round matches.
A version of this article appears in print on December 07, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.