Shrestha bags gold but Khatri stunnedSouth Asian Games (SAG) gold medallist Phupu Lhamu Khatri failed to live up to her star billing as she bowed out to Indian opponent in the final as Ravin Shrestha claimed gold for Nepal in the opening day of the eighth South Asian Judo Championships on Saturday.
South Asian Games (SAG) gold medallist Phupu Lhamu Khatri failed to live up to her star billing as she bowed out to Indian opponent in the final as Ravin Shrestha claimed gold for Nepal in the opening day of the eighth South Asian Judo Championships on Saturday.
Khatri, the below-63kg gold winner of the 2016 SAG, lost against Sunibala Devi Huidrom of India, the same opponent whom she had defeated in the last match of round robin league in Shillong two years ago. The Indian avenged that defeat on the basis of osaekomi (ground technique). Most Kaniz Sultana Happy of Bangladesh and Wasana Karunarathne of Sri Lanka were joint bronze medallists.
“The final bout was really tough though I tried my best to overcome her,” said the 22-year-old Tribhuvan Army Club judoka who expressed dissatisfaction over the training provided prior to the tournament. “The training we received was ordinary than what we usually used to get for other international event.”
In the event held at the Army Physical Fitness and Training Centre in Lagankhel, the 25-year-old Shrestha won the men’s below-100kg gold. The Nepal Police Club judoka defeated all three opponents in the round robin league participated in by four players — Md Abdul Kalam Ajad of Bangladesh, Bandula Bajjala of Sri Lanka and compatriot Suryaman Lama. Kalam secured silver and Lama finished with bronze medal.
“The Bangladeshi opponent (Ajad) in the last bout was really strong. I had thought to come with defensive approach and executed my plan. He played attacking game and conceded two shidos (negative points). I planned to get one more shido as the third shido would earn ippon (winning point) and I was able to draw it,” said Shrestha.
Another Nepali gold medal hopeful Manita Shrestha Pradhan was confined to bronze in the women’s below-57kg category before veteran Lila Adhikari lost in the final of same weight category against Anita Angom Chanu of India. Adhikari lost on the basis of ground technique. Shrestha Pradhan was the joint bronze medallist along with Sri Lanka’s Madushani Liyanage.
The opening day of the event saw India lead the chart winning four out of seven gold up for grabs. Pakistan won two to stay second ahead of hosts Nepal. The second day of event on Sunday offers seven more gold medals. The team event will be played on Monday, the third and final day of the tournament.
India’s Kalpana Devi Thoudam saw off Maryam of Pakistan to win gold in women’s below-52kg final. Nepal’s Devika Khadka and Anju Pandey were the joint bronze medallists. The women’s below-48kg division saw India’s Sushila Devi Likmabam claiming gold with victory over Pakistan’s Humaria Ashiq. Sumitra Rai of Nepal and Phub Dem Monger of Bhutan settled for bronze medals.
Nepal’s Shree Ram Makaju lost in men’s below-90kg final to Qaisar Khan of Pakistan. The Pakistani scored ippon against Makaju. Ramesh Bahadur Chand of Nepal and Jobandeep Singh of India took bronze. Pakistan also won gold in the men’s above-100kg category. Shah Hussain Shah of Pakistan defeated Yasith Rathnayake of Sri Lanka in the final bout. Nepal’s Rajan Joshi and Udayvir Sing were the joint bronze medallists in the event.