Shah betters personal mark

Kathmandu, August 14:

Nepali swimmer Prasiddha Jung Shah improved his personal best record in the 50-metre freestyle during the heats at the Beijing Olympic Games today.

Shah lowered his mark by 0.35 seconds as he finished the course in 27.59 seconds, only better than Uganda (27.72) and Sudan (30.12) in the eight-men heat. Shah’s previous best record was 27.94s set during the 2007 World Championships in Australia.

He could not break the national record of 26.39s set by Chitra Bahadur Gurung. Shah finished 81st out of the total 92 participants in the event.

With the result, Shah became the fourth Nepali player to bow out of the Games. Shooter Phool Maya Kyapchhaki, lifter Kamal Bahadur Adhikari and judo player Devu Thapa have already been eliminated. Adhikari broke his own national record in the men’s 69-kg weightlifting competition. Of the two swimmers, Karishma Karki is scheduled to compete in the women’s 50m freestyle heats on Friday. Karki received the wild card following her personal best timing of 34.57 seconds at the 2007 FINA World Championship. Runa Pradhan holds the national record in the event at 31.28 seconds. Apart from Karki, three more Nepali players are scheduled to participate at the Games.

Deepak Bista — the second Nepali player to qualify for the Olympics after Sangina Baidya (Athens 2004) — will compete in the below-80kg category. His draw ceremony is slated for August 18.

Sprinter Chandra Kala Thapa is slated to take

part in the 100m event on Saturday. Arjun Kumar Basnet will be the last to compete in Beijing when the men’s marathon gets underway on August 24.