Kathmandu, June 21
Sports fraternity paid tribute to national champion cyclist Narayan Gopal Maharjan, who died after falling into the river during the Rumble in the Jungle competition in Kuda Oya, Sri Lanka last week.
His body was brought to Kathmandu yesterday and was kept at the National Sports Council for final tributes. National Sports Council Member Secretary Keshab Kumar Bista, Nepal Olympic Committee President Jeevan Ram Shrestha, Secretary at Youth and Sports Ministry Mohan Prakash Sapkota, Nepal Cycling Association President Gopal Kakshyapati among others paid tribute to Maharjan.
The 33-year-old cross country mountain biker from Kathmandu, Maharjan drowned after falling into the river during the race in which the riders need to wade across rivers, ride through jungle, tackle high altitude climbs and negotiate bone clattering rocky descents.
Maharjan, who was preparing for the Asian Games to be held later this year in Indonesia, was the national champion and had won 14 gold, 13 silver and 12 bronze medals in different races. Ajay Pandit Chhetri and Buddhi Bahadur Tamang (Roan) were the two other Nepali cyclists among the 39 participants of the event organised by Sri Lanka Airlines. The hosts postponed race following the accident.
NSC Member Secretary Bista said the whole sports fraternity was shocked with the loss of Maharjan. “We are hurt by the loss of a cyclist who had a huge potential,” he said. Maharjan, who is survived by parents and two sisters, was cremated at Pashupati Aryaghat today.
A version of this article appears in print on June 22, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.