Manita Shrestha Pradhan was the only Nepali judoka as four others Indra Bahadur Shrestha, Shree Ram Makaju, Devika Khadka and Punam Shrestha lost their bouts. Pradhan defeated Garima Chaudhary in the women’s U-57kg division while Punam lost to Rajwinder Kaur in the above 70kg division and Khadka faced defeat against Kalpana Devi Thoudam in the U-52kg division. Indra went down against Vijay Kumar Yadav in the men’s U-73kg bout and Makaju lost to Harsha Deep Singh Brar in the men’s U-90kg section.
Following the defeat in team event medal expected judo’s campaign in the Asiad ended in a bitter note. None of the eight Nepali judokas won single individual bout. Olympian Phupu Lhamu Khatri (U-63kg), Punam Shrestha (U-78kg), Manita Shrestha Pradhan (U-57kg) and Devika Khadka (U-52kg) were the female players and Indra Bahadur Shrestha (U-66kg), Sanjit Dangol (U-73kg), Shree Ram Makaju (U-90kg) and Rabin Shrestha (U-100kg) had represented Nepali in judo.
In the triathlon, consisting of 1.5km swimming, 40km cycling and 10km running, Nepal’s Dipesh Chaudhary was disqualified after violated penalty norms of the game. Jumpei Furuya of Japan claimed gold, Ayan Beisenbayev of Kazakhstan silver and Li Mingxu of China bronze in the event.
The result on the penultimate day meant, Nepal have just medal, a silver medal from the little known paragliding which was included in the Asiad for the first time. Nepal’s team consisting of Bimal Adhikari, Bijay Gautam, Sushil Gurung, Yukesh Gurung and Bishal Thapa secured second position behind Japan to win the only medal in the men’s cross country event. Nepal will play in the triathlon mixed team event on Sunday.
Nepal had fielded a 187-strong players in 29 disciplines in Asiad. Leaving aside paragliding, it was only karate that had reached closer to medal. But only two karatekas--Anu Adhikari and Rita Karki--came close to winning a bronze medal. Both lost the bronze medal bout.
Of the 18 editions of the Asian Games since its inception in 1951, Nepal have participated in all but two occasions. They opted out in 1954 in Philippines and in 1962 in Indonesia. Despite the long history of participation, Nepal have only won a total of 24 medals with the best results of all being a silver medal. Taekwondo player Sabita Rajbhandari had won the first silver for Nepal during the 1998 Games in Bangkok.
Nepal’s medal drought in the Asiad had come to an end during 1986 in South Korea when Nepal struck eight bronze medals—four each from take taekwondo and boxing.
Published: 2018-09-02 10:22:54
Only four sports disciplines—taekwondo (14), boxing (6) and karate (3) and paragliding (1)—have been able to fetch medals for Nepal at the Asian meet so far. Lately on boxer Deepak Maharjan in 2010 Guangzhou Asiad and karateka Bimala Tamang in 2014 Incheon Games have won the bronze medal for Nepal.