Aug 23, 2018-Weightlifter Kamal Bahadur Adhikari set new national records in the 18th Asian Games on Wednesday as Nepal’s medal drought continued on the fifth consecutive day in the Indonesian capital Jakarta.
Adhikari, who competed in the men’s 69kg weight category, set records in snatch, clean and jerk and total bettering his own previous mark. He snatched 119kg and lifted 160kg in clean and jerk for a total lift of 279kg. Earlier, he held the record of 118kg in snatch which he had set during the Grand Prix Weightlifting Championships four years ago in Kathmandu. The new clean and jerk record is 5kg more than what he had lifted during the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
The 41-year-old was also the flag bearer of the Nepali contingent in the Indonesia Asiad. He is the lone Nepali lifter to win gold in the South Asian Games (Sag) gold after he secured top finish in the 2006 South Asian Games (Sag) in Colombo. Adhikari is among few Nepali players to feature in four consecutive Asian Games since 2006 Doha Asiad. Adhikari finished 14th among 18 players in Pool B.
North Korea’s O Kang Chol (151 in snatch, 185 in clean & jerk and 336kg in total) claimed the gold, Uzbekistan’s Doston Yokubov (145kg in snatch, 186kg in clean & jerk and 331 in total) won silver and Kyrgystan’s Izzat Artyko (147kg in snatch, 183kg in clean & jerk and 330kg in total) finished with bronze.
Nepali wushu team’s campaign in the Asiad ended with improved performance from Sushmita Tamang in women’s changquan of taolu. The silver medallists of the 2016 India Sag, Tamang, accumulated 9.25 points to better her previous scored of 8.72 points in Guwahati.
She ended up seventh and finished ahead of Chinese Taipei and Myanmar players. Sapana Devi of India had earned 9.45 points for gold haul in the Sag. A total of 10 Nepali players had competed in wushu.
China’s Xinyi Qi claimed gold in the event scoring 9.74 points, Li Yi (9.72 points) of Macau won silver and Thi Phuong Giang Hoang (9.71 points) of Vietnam took bronze medal. Wushu coach Amar Bahadur Thing was satisfied with the performance of the team. “The players did really well considering their standard. Our target is to win medal in the Sag. There are many higher-ranked team in the Asiad. We must improve ourselves first for such meet,” he said.
Lumanti Shrestha could have at least confirmed medal for Nepal in women’s sanda 60kg had she won her first round match. But the 23-year-old Shrestha lost the quarter-final against Thai opponent Suchaya Bualuang after she was directly drawn in the last eight.
Following its sixth consecutive participation in the Asiad since 1994 Hiroshima Games, wushu is yet to come up with a medal. A gold and 10 silver earned in the 2016 Sag had raised hopes for Nepal from wushu to at least win one medal in Indonesia.
National sport volleyball marked comeback in the Asiad after 32 years with a huge defeat against Chinese Taipei. Nepal, placed in Group ‘B’, lost in straight sets of 25-23, 25-19, 25-15. Taipei are the ninth ranked team of Asia while Nepal are non-ranked nation. Led by Im Rana Magar, Nepal overcome an 8-2 deficit in the first set and gave tough fight until the final moments. The second set went neck-to-neck with the two teams tied at 13-13 but continuous errors from Nepal enabled Taipei to surge ahead.
Nepal coach Jagdish Bhatta defended his side blaming lack of international exposure for the defeat. He said: “The boys played better than the expectations but they lacked experience to play at bigger stage.” Bhatta also added that they could have earned better results if they had got the opportunity to train in such floor for around 20 days and played few practice matches.
Nepal came to Indonesia following a two-month closed camp training in Mahendranagar. They are scheduled to play against South Korea on Friday. It was the first participation of Nepali volleyball team in the Asiad after 1986 Korea Games.
Taekwondo players Bir Bahadur Mahara and Bhupen Shrestha both made second round exits. Mahara won his first bout while Shrestha lost his very first match after earning bye for a place in the round-of-16.
Mahara, who competed in men’s 63kg, defeated Afghanistan’s Ahmad Bakhshi 24-13 in the round-of-32 to avenge the defeat he was inflicted in the 2016 Sag. Bakhshi had eventually claimed gold in Sag. Mahara, however, went on to lose the second bout 30-19 to Kazakasthan’s Baktiyaruly Kazybek. In U-80kg, Shrestha was beaten by Afghanistan’s Ramesh Hussaini 27-7.
Taekwondo, the most successful sport for Nepal in the Asiad having won 14 out of 23 medals that country has won so far, is in danger of returning empty handed for the third consecutive edition. Nepali taekwondo team has not won medal in the Asian Games since winning three bronze medals in the 2006 edition in Bangkok.
Olympian swimmer Gaurika Singh, the youngest Olympian during the 2016 Rio Olympics in Brazil, and Subham Shrestha both failed to meet their personal best on Wednesday. Singh, who competed in women’s 200m freestyle clocked 2 minutes 12:53 second in heat one.
Singh holds the national record of 2.11:94 minutes. Singh finished 19th overall among 24 participants. In the men’s 100m breaststroke Shrestha clocked 1.11:37 minute to finish 27th among 32 swimmers. He holds the national record of 1.11:34 minute set in 2017 during the Fina World Championships in Hungary.
Nepal finished eighth in men’s team accuracy and seventh in women’s team accuracy of paragliding, an event included in the Asian Games for the first time. Hosts Indonesia have confirmed six golds from paragliding. Nepali men’s team comprised of Bimal Adhikari, Yukesh Gurung, Bijay Gautam, Sushil Gurung and Bijay Thapa. Pratibha Bhujel, Trisha Shrestha Bomjan and Sabita Tamang formed the women’s team.
Nepal’s women basketball team lost to Chinese Taipei 19-9 in their Group ‘B’ 3X3 basketball. Alina Gurung, Shreya Khadka, Bhawana Lama and Anusa Malla had represented Nepal in the event. They will next play Japan and Mongolia. Japan crushed Mongolia 22-1 on Wednesday.
In Palembang, Rana Siblings Mayanka and Mahika faced a double bagel defeat against Japanese players in women’s doubles pre-quarterfinal match. They were defeated by Japanese pair of M Uchijima and E Hayashi. The defeat of Rana pair also ended Nepali tennis campaign in Indonesia.
Nepal pulled off mixed results in kabaddi on Wedesday winning one and losing other in Group ‘B’. They began the day by beating Malaysia 29-17. Nepal took 12-10 lead in the first half and laid the foundation for victory in the second half 17-7. In another match, Nepal faced a humiliating 75-21 defeat at the hands of Iran. Nepal are yet to play against Pakistan in the group.
Nepal’s women sabre team lost 45-10 to Thailand in the pre-quarterfinals. Nepali team comprised of Kamala Shrestha, Asmita Basnet, Rabina Thapa and Mina Devi Paudel. Shrestha was the only player to get four touch points.
Source: Kathmandu Post