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With Only 2 Months of Training
Nepalese Olympians Hope to Break Their Own National Records in Beijing


Nepalese Athletes Debu, Chandrakala, Phulmaya. Photos: Smita

Kathmandu, August 1, 2008- Believe it or not, they have been in regular training for only two months, and they are targeting to break their own national (Nepal) records at the Beijing Olympics!

“Two months of training is not enough for us to expect a medal at the Olympics. However, we are hoping to give our best performance in Beijing and break our national record,” said Chandrakala Thapa, an athlete hailing from Morang Urlabari.

In this summer’s 29th Olympic Games, Nepal has eight representatives. The Olympics will start on August 8 in Beijing, China.

These eight Nepalese participants in the Beijing Olympics are Taekwondo ace Deepak Bista, athletes Arjun Kumar Basnet and Chandrakala Thapa, swimmers Prasiddha Jung Shah and Karishma Karki, shooter Fulmaya Kyapchhaki Magar, judo player Debu Thapa and Kamal Adhikari, in weightlifter.

Taekwondo player Deepak Bista is only the second player after Sangina Baidhya, also a taekwondo player, to qualify for the Games. Bista has won 3 Gold Medals and 2 Bronze Medals in the South Asian Games (SAG).

The other seven players received wild card entries.
Deepak returned to Kathmandu last Saturday after his four-month long training in South Korea. The swimmer duo are still in India for training.
 

Dipak Bista

Pradeep Khati, the shooting coach said, “If we expect a medal from our participants in the Olympics, then everything from food to environment, medical and training time should be at international standards as our participants are to compete with international players.”
With the Olympic games nearing, different sports associations and business organizations have announced plans to give rewards of cash prizes ranging from Nepalese currency Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 1,00,000 to those who succeed in breaking national records.


Phulmaya Kyapchhaki Magar

Commenting on the announcement, Debu Thapa, a judo player said, “We appreciate their support and promise to put on our best performance.” Debu is the third Judo player ever to participate in the Olympics. Before her, in 1988 Olympic held in Seoul, Korea, two Nepalese judo players Rishi Ram Pradhan and Ganga Bahadur Dangol participated.

According to Nepal Sports Council (NSC), Korea’s Kwon Hyouk Joung and Nepal’s coach Deep Raj Gurung will accompany Bista as the Taekwondo coach. Partha Sarathisen Gupta is the weightlifting coach, Puspa Raj Ojha the athletics coach, Pradeep Khati the shooting coach and Birendra Ranjitkar the judo coach. There is no space for the swimming coach as general secretary of the Nepal Swimming Association Ashok Bajracharya will be visiting Beijing instead.


Apart from 8 players, 6 coaches and one medical staff, the rest of the Nepali delegation to Beijing Olympics are either Nepal Olympic Council (NOC) members or NSC officials.

Also, NOC and NSC are not revealing IOC quotas and financial support Nepal received for the Olympic Games. At the same time they have not yet confirmed the players’ departure date to participate in the Beijing Olympic. For all of these reasons NOC and NSC have been highly criticized as they are alleged to have misused their power and authority.


Kamal Adhikari

The members of Nepali delegates at the Olympics are Sitaram Maskey (NSC vice-president), Umesh Lal Shrestha (NOC vice-president and Nepal Hockey Association president), Laxman Shrestha (NSC member and Nepal Volleyball Association president), Upendra Keshari Neupane (NOC treasurer), Hukum Raj Giri (NOC member and Federation of Republic Sports of Nepal vice-president), Sujan Lal Shrestha (NOC office secretary), Gita Rana (NOC Women’s Commission), Sunil Raj Karnikar (NOC member and Nepal Kabbadi Association president), Ravi Raj Thapa (NOC vice-president and Nepal Boxing Association president), Dr Saroj Shrestha (medical staff) and Shanker Pandey (secretary, Ministry of Education and Sports).


Arjunkumar Basnet. Photos: Smita

With only two months of training, participating without coach and the disturbing environment created on the authority’s part, it seems unfair on our part to expect medals from them right now. However, Nepalese are still keeping their fingers crossed.

“We are trying and will try in the games to bring home at least one medal. However, we are already at great disadvantage due to the short period of training. So for now, many of us have set as our target to break the national record as it is a more realistic goal,” said Debu
Thapa.

-Smita Magar in Kathmandu
 
Read our special feature presentation at:



   With Only 2 Months of Training
» Nepalese Olympians Hope to Break Their Own National Records in Beijing

» Beijing Olympic 2008: Facts That You Need to Know

» 20 American Mothers in Beijing Olympics
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