Taekwondo players selected for camp

KATHMANDU: The Nepal Taekwondo Association (NTA) today selected 30 players for the 11th South Asian Games (SAG) camp.

The NTA gave direct qualifications to the 15th Asian Games, 10th South Asian Games, fifth National Games and Korean Ambassador Cup medallists. The NTA selected three players each in the 10 weight categories for the camp.

In the first-round selection tournament held at the National Sports Council, Yan Kumari Chaulagain came first in women’s Under-46kg section, ahead of Sangita Shrestha and Tara Ghimire. The top three players were selected in all the weight categories.

In the Under-53kg section, Sabina Maharjan,

Ritu Maden and Laxmi Rana claimed top three spots to find their names

in the camp. The 15th

Asian Games bronze medallist and 10th South Asian Games silver medallist, Ayasha Shakya got direct qualification in the U-53kg section, while Apsara Karki and Laxmi Thapa qualified as the winner and runner up.

Also, Manita Shahi,

the 15th Asian Games bronze medallist and 10th South Asian Games gold medallist, was exempted from the selection in the

U-57kg section in which Sangita Basyal and Mira Kafle came first and second respectively.

In men’s section, Nischal and Yam Bahadur Pun got selected while Ganesh Khadka, who has been selected for the World Championship in Denmark, got direct entry in the 63kg section. Ashish Maharjan, Anoj Pujari and Om Kumar Moktan were selected in the men’s 68kg section, while Dan Bahadur Airee, Pitambar Upreti and Bharat Bohara claimed the top three spots in the 74kg section.

Likewise, Ramesh Kumar Shrestha, Dambar Narayan Chaudhary and Gopal Chauhan were selected in the U-80kg section, while ace taekwondo player Deepak Bista — the 2008 Beijing Olympian, 15th Asian Games bronze medallist and 10th South Asian Games gold medallist — was joined by Hem Jung Raut and Shankar Gurung in the U-87kg category. Bista won his third consecutive gold medal in the regional games when he claimed the medal in the Colombo Games in 2006. Ramji Dahal, Badrinath Basnet and Ajay Nepali were selected in the Above-87kg category.

The NTA will select 10 players — one each in all the 10 weight categories — for the 11th SAG to be held in Dhaka from January 29 to February 9. Nepali taekwondo players ruled the sport after they won 14 gold medals in the eighth SAF Games in Kathmandu in 1999, but they were content to just two gold medals in the 10th SA Games in Colombo, Sri Lanka in 2006.