Shakya earns SA Games berth


Kathmandu, September 6

The 10th South Asian Games gold medal winning taekwondo player Ayasha Shakya changed her discipline to Poomsae after giving birth to second child but she remained unchallenged in her age-group in the final selection for the 13th edition of the regional sporting extravaganza slated for December 1-10 in Kathmandu and Pokhara.

Shakya won two silver and a gold medal in Under-53kg weight category in previous three editions of the SA Games — Colombo (2006), Dhaka (2010) and Guwahati-Shillong (2015) — apart from bagging bronze medal in the 2006 Doha Asian Games. Married to taekwondo ace Deepak Bista, Shakya participated in 2014 Incheon Asian Games and the 12th SA Games after giving birth to her first son and still she was at the top in her weight category in national games.

Ayasha Shakya performs during taekwondo selection tournament at the Nepal Taekwondo Academy in Lalitpur on Friday, September 6, 2019. Photo: Udipt Singh Chhetry/THT

Her love towards the sport did not allow Shakya to stay away and she swiftly switched her discipline to Poomsae — defined pattern of defense-and-attack motions — as she was not able to continue with Kyorugi — fight in taekwondo — after giving birth to the second child. And she was unchallenged in the final selection in the above-30 age category. But she performed in front of the judges gracefully and earned the SA Games berth unopposed.

A total of 17 players were selected for 13 gold medal events in Poomsae — six individuals, three pairs and four teams. Parbati Gurung (24-29yrs), Sina Maden (18-23yrs), Nira Gurung, Prashmsha Chhetri and Sushila Rai (24-29yrs), and Nisha Darnal, Swostika Tamang and Sanjila Timalsina (18-23yrs) also earned berths in women’s section. According to the Nepal Taekwondo Association, the team management will later decide the players for pairs and teams. Each pair will have one each male and female players, while each team will be formed with two males and female players.

In men’s section, eight players — Kamal Shrestha, Jit Bahadur Bot and Prem Bahadur Limbu (24-29yrs), Krishna Tamang, Shishir Tamang and Ashmin Raut (18-23yrs) and Rejin Rimal and Sanjeev Ojha (above-30yrs) — were selected.

In Kyorugi,  Manoj Malla (U-54kg), Govinda Ale Magar(U-58kg), Gyanendra Hamal (U-63kg), Bir Bahdur Mahara (U-68kg), Nischal Man Shrestha (U-73kg), Kiran Ale Magar (U-80kg), Bhupen Shrestha (U-87kg), and Sakchyam Karki (above-87kg) earned berths in men’s section.

In women’s section, Kajal Shrestha (U-46kg), Yunisha Rai (U-49kg), Ashmita Khadka (U-53kg), Neema Gurung (U-57kg), Indira Basnet (U-62kg), Sagita Bashyal (U-67kg), Apsara Karki (U-73kg), and Olympian Nisha Rawal (above-73kg) qualified for the SA Games.

There was a bit of drama in the 46kg weight category as 21th SA Games silver medallist Rejina Upreti failed to qualify after she lost to Kajal Shrestha, who also defeated Kalpana Chaudhary in the round-robin league. Likewise, the 10th SA Games gold medallist Manita Shahi’s comeback bid ended in a bitter note after she failed to qualify in the U-73kg weight category. The Doha Asian Games bronze medallist Shahi, who bagged silver in Dhaka, did not participate in the 12th edition of the regional games in India.

In the joint selection of U-73 and above-73kg weight category, Nisha Rawal beat Apsara Karki and Manita Shahi, while she lost to Sumitra KC Dangol. Karki beat Dangol and Shahi, while Shahi defeated Dangol for her lone victory.


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Written by Sureis
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