Shah attempts to lower his mark

Kathmandu, August 13:

Nepali swimmer Prasiddha Jung Shah will attempt to lower his mark in the heats of the men’s 50 metre freestyle at the Beijing Olympics on Thursday.

Shah’s personal best timing is 27.94 seconds set during the 2007 World Championships held in Australia. He received a wild card for the Games due to his performance in Australia. Chitra Bahadur Gurung holds the national record in the event with 26.39 seconds.

Eamon Sellivan of Australia holds world record while Alexander Popov of Russia holds the Olympics record in the men’s 50 metre freestyle. Sellivan set the record on March 28 in Sydney with the timing of 21.28 seconds while Alexander Popov set it on July 30 during 1992 Barcelona Olympics at 21.91 seconds.

Shah is one of the two Nepali swimmers to participate in the Olympics. Karishma Karki will take to the pool in the women’s 50 metre freestyle on Friday.

Like Shah, Karki was also granted the wild card following her personal best record of 34.57 seconds set at the 2007 World Championship in Australia. Runa Pradhan has the national record in the women’s 50 metre freestyle at 31.28 seconds.

Of the eight Nepali players at the Beijing Olympics, shooter Phool Maya Kyapchhaki, weightlifter Kamal Bahadur Adhikari and judo player Devu Thapa have already been eliminated. Yet to play at the Games are taekwondo player Deepak Bista and athletes Arjun Kumar Basnet (marathon) and Chandra Kala Thapa (100 metre).