Sulochana, Kushal qualify

Kathmandu, July 23:

The 10th South Asian Games karate gold medallists Kushal Shrestha and Sulochana Sijakhwa qualified for the AKF Championship slated for August 19-26 in Malaysia.

The 10th SA Games silver medallists Ram Bahadur Limbu and Amrita Shakya, however, will miss the championship after crashing out of the selection tournament. Likewise, SA Games bronze medallists Ram Sharan Twanty and Krishna Kala KC also failed to qualify.

Kushal defeated Dhan Singh Ale of Central Region the 65kg final, while Sulochana outperformed Rina Rana of Central Region in the women’s single kata.

Others to qualify in the men’s section were 10th SA Games bronze medallist Rabindra Dahal (55kg) of Nepal Police, his teammate Binod Maharjan (60kg), 10th SA Games bronze medallist Binod Shakya (80kg) and Santosh Yakhha (above 80kg) of Eastern Region. Ganga Ram Maharjan was selected in the men’s single kate.

Parbati Giri of Central Region, Madhu Singh of Eastern Region and Tara Gurung of Western Region qualified in the women’s section. Parbati upset 10th SA Games bronze medallist Krishnakala KC in 48kg final, Madhu beat Bibhusha Thapa of Nepali Army in 53kg and Tara defeated Surabhi Rajbhandari of Central Region in 60kg final.

In all, 108 players from five development regions, Nepal Police, Nepali Army, Armed Police Force and members of the national team took part in the qualifier held to select eight men and four women.