Shrestha wins gold in Judo

Lalitpur, December 9

Judoka Punam Shrestha bagged gold medal on the second day of the judo competition under the 13th South Asian Games here at the Nepali Army Sports Complex today.

Shrestha finished first in the women’s below- 78kg weight category with three wins in the fourplayer competition. She defeated Leteeshia Dilrukshi Jayawardana Wibushana Gedara of Sri Lanka in the first bout before beating India’s Navneet Kaur. Shrestha then outplayed Farina Khanom of Bangladesh to seal the gold medal. India’s Kaur finished second, while Wibushana Gedara and Khanom bagged bronze medals.

Shrestha could not hide her emotions after winning the gold. “I played judo for long time and wanted to give something to the country. And the dreams were fulfilled today,” said Shrestha, who bagged bronze in the previous edition held in Guwahati and Shillong three years ago. “I am grateful to my coaches and all those who supported me throughout the journey as it took me a lot of efforts to reach this stage,” she added.

Devika Khadka had opened Nepal’s gold medal accounts on the first day of the competition yesterday after she finished first in the women’s below-52kg weight category.

In women’s below-70kg, Nepal’s Binita Magar claimed silver finishing behind Indian judoka Garima Choudhary, who won three bouts in the fourplayer field. Magar along with Bangladesh’s Dousuising Chowdury Kanta and Sri Lanka’s Sripali Deepthika Kumarasinghe Kumara Vidanalage registered one win each. Magar finished second, while Kanta and Vidanalage bagged bronze .

Likewise, Akriti Joshi bagged another silver medal for Nepal in women’s above-78kg weight category. Joshi registered three wins in five-player contest. She defeated Kader Fahee of Bangladesh, Hiruni Imesha Withana Liyana Arachchilage of Sri Lanka and Beenish Khan of Pakistan. India’s Tulika Maan won gold with four wins, while Arachchilage and Khan bagged bronze medals.

Also, Rajan Joshi claimed bronze medal for the home team in men’s above-100kg. Joshi registered victories over Md Mamunur of Rashid Bangladesh and Mohammed Irfaan Ousman of Sri Lanka before losing to Pakistan’s Hamid Ali and India’s Surender. Ali finished first, while Surender came second. Joshi and Ousman bagged bronze medals.

In men’s below-81kg, India’s Anmol Deep Singh defeated Pakistan’s Karamat Butt in final, while Rajitha Pushpakumara Nuwarapaksha Gedara of Sri Lanka and Nur Alam of Bangladesh bagged bronze medals.