Nepali swimmers wrapped up their campaign at the 18th Asian Games on Friday as medal drought continued on the seventh day of the sports meet in Jakarta, Indonesia.
With medal prospect never on the cards, Nepali swimmers had the primary objective of improving on national records but Gaurika Singh, Tisha Shakya and Subham Shrestha all failed to achieve that. In all, four swimmers including Gurung represented Nepal in the Asiad. The best a Nepali swimmer did was an improvement on the personal mark which Shakya did in the 100m freestyle.
On Friday, both Shakya and Singh competed in women’s 50m freestyle heats at the GBK Aquatic Centre. Singh, who came into limelight during the 2016 Rio Olympics as the youngest athlete, clocked 28.50 seconds to finish second from the bottom in her Heat. Shakya finished behind Singh in 29.31. Singh stood 21st and Shakya 23rd overall among the 31 swimmers. Singh is the national record holder in the event with the timing of 28.09.
Shrestha clocked 32.45 in 50m breaststroke Heat to finish seventh among eight swimmers. Shrestha holds the nation record in the event at 32.19. He finished in 32nd place among the 34 swimmers. He had earlier competed in the 50m and 100m freestyle but was unable to break the national records.
The spikers made early exit in volleyball as well losing both their matches in Group ‘D’. Nepal lost 25-16, 25-13, 25-17 to South Korea, a day after losing to Chinese Taipei in straight sets. Nepal had fielded the volleyball team in Asiad after 32 since declaring it as the national game. Nepal coach Jagdish Bhatta said his side failed to perform to their standard against Korea. “We failed to continue with the momentum we had in our narrow defeat against Chinese Taipei in the first match. Our players lost confidence against the Asian giants. We were below par in all departments today,” added the coach. Despite making early exit, Nepal will play in the qualifying rounds for rankings. Nepal will play against the teams who have already been eliminated from group stages.
Nepal’s run in the men’s bouldering qualification ended in a bitter note after climbers Pranilman Shrestha finished 21st and Pemba Sherpa in the 22nd position. Only Kherlen Nyamdoo of Mongolia fared worse than the Nepali athletes in the event participated in by 23 climbers.
Nepali men’s team signed off with a victory over Jordan in their last match of the 3x3 basketball tournament. Nepal team comprising of Mabindra Bhandari, Ashis Basnet, Ajay Kushwa and Nischal Maharjan saw off Jordan 21-10. Nepal had previously lost to Japan, Qatar and Syria. Maldives had pulled out from the group.
Nepali badminton team lost all three matches of the day. Top seed Ratnajit Tamang and Bikash Shrestha lost men’s singles matches as did Rashil Maharjan and Amita Giri faced in the women’s doubles event. Tamang suffered a 21-8, 21-11 defeat against Wanho Son of South Korea in the round-of-32 match. Shrestha was hammered 21-9, 21-10 by Japan’s Kento Momota, also in the round-of-32. In the women’s doubles, Giri and Maharjan lost pre-quarterfinal match to Hyerin Kim and Heeyong Kong of Korean opponents 21-7, 21-1.
Nepali archer lost to Kyrgyzstan in the recurve team event 5-4. The Nepali team comprised of Gyanu Awale and Tilak Pun Magar crashed out of the last 16 stage.
Boxers also started their campaign with defeats on Friday. Sangita Sunar lost to Thailand’s Nilawan Techasuep 5-0 in the women’s 57kg division pre-quarterfinal bout. Despite standing firm the whole three rounds, she failed to earn a single point. Three Nepali pugilists are set to play on Saturday. Tej Bahadur Deuja in 49kg, Bhupendra Thapa in 64kg and Punam Rawal in women’s 60kg division will compete on Saturday.
Nepal were hammered by Philippines 45-3 in the men’s team foil pre-quarterfinal match. Nepali team comprised of Rajan Raj Khadka, Mahesh Prasad Bhatta, Sanjeep Lama and Sher Sing Airy. With the defeat, Nepal’s fencing campaign ended.Published: 2018-08-25 08:41:21