Kathmandu, August 27
Athletes Som Bahadur Kumal and Olympian Saraswati Bhattarai produced season best timings in 800m heats, while karateka Anu Adhikari came agonisingly close to winning the maiden medal for Nepal in the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta today.
Kumal completed the 800m race in one minute and 52.02 seconds breaking the 23-year-old national record in Heat 3 at the GBK Main Stadium.
Dhani Ram Chaudhary held the record of 1:50.60 set during the 1995 South Asian Federation Games in Madras. Kumal finished overall 13th in the 27-man field and failed to qualify for the finals.
Earlier, Olympian athlete Saraswati Bhattarai produced season best time in women’s 800m race. Competing in Heat 3, Bhattarai completed the race in two minutes and 12.85 seconds. She finished overall 13 in the 20-athlete field and failed to qualify for the finals by a small margin.
Bhattarai’s previous best in 800m race was 2:13.99 in Asian Championship Heats in Bhubaneshwar, India last year, while she had completed the distance in 2:14.35 in South Asian Games in Guwahati, in 2016. Bhattarai is also scheduled to take part in 1,500m race on Wednesday. She had set the new national record of 4:33.94 in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
After day’s results, Nepal completed its challenge in 21 sports disciplines and is among only 10 out of 45 participating nations without a medal. Nepal’s hopes of winning medal in 18th edition of the Asian Games are getting bleak as karate and boxing joined taekwondo in returning empty-handed.
In the previous 15 editions, Nepal has bagged 23 medals — one silver and 22 bronze — and all of them came from taekwondo, karate and boxing. Taekwondo is the most successful among three winning a silver and 13 bronze, while boxing and karate have win six and three bronze medals respectively.
And it was karate and boxing that saved Nepal’s blushes in the previous two editions — Incheon (2014) and Guangzhou (2010) — when the country returned with one medal each.
Karateka Anu Adhikari came close to win bronze medal in women’s 50kg weight category. She defeated Cheung I Ching of Macau 5-1 in pre-quarters before facing a 7-2 loss at the hands of Shiaushuang Gu of Chinese Taipei in quarter-finals.
As Shiaushuang Gu made it to the final, Adhikari earned a chance of repechage and she defeated Sirimoungkhoune Sirivimon of Laos 3-1 to advance to the bronze-medal match. But Miho Miyahara of Japan shattered Adhikari’s dreams of kissing the medal with a 9-0 win. Adhikari became the first Nepali player to register two victories in the ongoing Asian Games and was third karateka to lose in bronze medal match. Chanchala Danuwar (kata) and Rita Karki had earned chances to contest for third-place playoff in repechage on Friday.
In another match, Nepal’s Diwash Shrestha faced a 8-0 defeat at the hands of Iranian karateka Poorshab Zabiollah in men’s below-84kg quarter-finals.
Boxing’s challenge was over after the 12th SA Games bronze medallist Deepak Shrestha suffered a 5-0 loss against Chiawei Kan of Chienese Taipei in men’s 75kg weight category.
Nepali team lost all four group matches in team events of table tennis on Monday. In men’s section, Nepali team of Amar Lal Malla, Syantoo Shrestha and Deep Saun went down 3-0 against South Korea and faced 3-1 defeat at the hands of Laos. Nepal had lost against China and Malaysia in Group A matches yesterday. In women’s section, the team of Nabita Shrestha, Swechhya Nembang and Rabina Maharjan suffered 3-0 losses against Hong Kong and Vietnam. Nepal had lost against Malaysia and Singapore in the five-team Group D.
Nepal faced a 2-0 defeat against India in men’s Regu event of Sepaktakraw. The team of Rupesh Sunar, Dipesh Jung Thapa, Govinda Magar, Sanjeet Dhimal and Rabin Bhattarai had faced similar losses at the hands of China, Malaysia and South Korea in previous matches of Group B. Nepal will now take part in men’s Quadrant event on Tuesday.
Nepal slipped one spot down to fourth after the third round of the men’s Team Cross Country event of Paragliding at the Gunung Mas Puncak in West Java. The team of Bimal Adhikari, Bijay Gautam, Sushil Gurung, Yukesh Gurung and Bishal Thapa accumulated 2844 points on the third day of the event for the total score of 5793. Hosts Indonesia maintained their top position with the score of 6308 after they earned 2490 today, while Japan jumped two spots up to second after they scored 3296 for the total of 6061. South Korea fell down to third with 5808. The winners will be decided after five rounds.
In women’s section, Nepal slipped one spot down to sixth with the total score of 946 points. The team of Trisha Shrestha Bomjan Tamang, Prativa Bhujel and Sabita Tamang accumulated 308 points on the third day. Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia are the top five teams after the third round. The participating teams will compete over five rounds in the 10-nation tournament.
Nepali squash team faced defeats in the team event on Monday. In Group A matches, Nepali team of Amrit Thapa Magar, Arhant Keshar Singh, Gyanu Chaudhary and Rajendra Shakya lost 3-0 against South Korea and surrendered by the same scores against Pakistan.
Written by Sandeep
This news first appeared on https://thehimalayantimes.com/sports/kumal-breaks-national-record/ under the title “Kumal breaks national record”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.