Players demand action against Karki

Kathmandu, April 30:

Nepali martial arts hogged limelight once again and it’s not karate or taekwondo but wushu that has taken the centre stage.

As usual the unfair decision and lobbying has taken toll on the Nepali wushu players that recently participated in the third South Asian Wushu Championship held in Dhaka on April 23-26.

Although Nepal bagged five gold, 15 silver and 12 bronze medals, many of the others were either intentionally deprived of the top honours or forced to pull out of the event. Nepal had won 23 gold in the first South Asian Wushu Championship and 11 in the second edition.

The ninth South Asian (SA) Games karate gold medallist Deepak Shrestha was intentionally deprived of the win in the 10th SA Games, as claimed by the player himself, so as to pave an easy passage to hand a Sri Lankan (the hosts) player the gold medal. The only difference this time was that it was not some foreign officials or judge that conspired against the spirit of the games but a top Nepali official himself that have shamed the whole nation. Nepal’s Chief coach Pranil Dhwoj Karki, who also happens to be the technical director of the South Asian Wushu, conspired against his own players.

Raj Kumar Rasaili, the 10th South Asian Games gold medallist, believed that Karki had intentionally deprived him of the gold. Speaking at a press meet here today, Rasaili claimed that he had scored better points in the last two rounds after losing the first round in final against W Janaka Sampath of Sri Lanak but surprisingly the chief jury (Karki) gave the decision against him.

“Even in the first round, I deserved better points than my opponent,” said Rasaili who fought in the 52kg San Shou event. “When I asked why my opponent was given better points, he (Karki) shocked me by saying that I was going to win the bout anyway,” added Rasaili. Team coach Namo Raj Lama revealed that Karki even overruled the head judge’s decision in his case.

Karki also forced Rajiv Maharjan, who reached the 80kg San Shou final, to withdraw. “I was slightly injured during my previous bout but I was ready to enter the arena when he forced me to withdraw,” said Maharjan. “I believe that these people decide who is going to win the gold even before the tournament,” said Maharjan.

According to team coach Lama, Raju Maharjan and Bikash Gurung were also barred to participate. “Such incident would only discourge the players, so we urge the concerned authorities to take a strong action against the culprit,” said the players.