Guwahati, February 7
Gaurika Singh created history in Nepali swimming when she won the maiden individual medal in the 12th South Asian Games in Guwahati today.
The 13-year-old swimmer, Singh won bronze medal in 200m breaststroke event with the timing of two minute and 26.93 seconds. She also bettered her previous national record of 2:37.87. Sri Lanka and India won gold and silver respectively in the event. Singh also became the second Nepali athlete to win medal at the age of 13. Spiker Sipora Gurung was the member of the team that won the bronze medal in 10th SA Games in Colombo in 2006.
Nepal had won gold medal in team event in the eighth SAF Games held in Kathmandu in 1999 but Singh’s medal is the first in individual section. “I am really happy for my country,” Singh told reporters after winning the medal. “I met the target as I wanted to win medal in SA Games,” added Singh, who also hoped to add another medal in 100m backstroke on Monday. Daughter of the 1994 SLC board topper Garima Rana, Singh has a dream of representing Nepal in South Asian Games and Asian Games apart from swimming in Olympic Games.
Singh, who moved to London at the age of two with her parents, trains at Copthall Swimming Club in London under coaches Rhys Gormley and Christine Green, who have produced world-class swimmers. The national record
is Singh 20th in the span of two years. She broke eight national records in seven events in her first participation, the 19th
National Open Swimming Championship. She returned to the national championship n 2015 and broke national records in all six events she took part. She was selected for the FINA World Championship and Singh also broke a record in Kazan. She shattered two records in Dubai and continued that with a 100m butterfly record on Saturday.
A version of this article appears in print on February 08, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.