New records for ChaudharyTaekwondo, the most successful game for Nepal in the Asian Games, continued to disappoint in its second day as Nepal’s miserable display in the 18th edition continued in Jakarta on Tuesday.
Taekwondo, the most successful game for Nepal in the Asian Games, continued to disappoint in its second day as Nepal’s miserable display in the 18th edition continued in Jakarta on Tuesday. On a day when lifter Sanju Chaudhary set three new national records but still finished at the bottom in her category, 2016 Rio Olympians Nisha Rawal of taekwondo and swimmer Sirish Gurung both crashed out without offering any challenge.
Weightlifter Chaudhary set three national records in women’s 53kg division bettering her own records. She lifted 72kg in snatch and 86kg in clean & jerk for a total lift of 158 kg. Earlier, she held the national record of 71kg in snatch and 85kg in clean & jerk for total of 156 kg during Asian Games Selection in June earlier this year. She, however, finished at the bottom of the table in the event contested by 12 players. Hidilyn Diaz (92kg in snatch and 115kg in clean and jerk) of Philippines claimed gold, Kristina Shermetova (93 snatch and 113 clean and jerk) of Turkmenistan silver and Surodchana Khambao (86 snatch and 115 clean & jerk) of Thailand bronze medals.
Olympian Rawal and Anoj Pujari lost their respective first bouts while Gyani Chunara defeated Bhutanese opponent in the first round before going down in the quarter-finals. Taekwondo, a sports discipline that has fetched 14 out of 23 medals Nepal have won so far in the Asiad, has not been able to make podium finish after current coach Deepak Bista, Ayesha Shakya and Manita Shahi won bronze in the 2006 edition in Doha.
Olympian Rawal lost the women’s above 67 kg category to China’s Gao Pan 22-6. In the round-of-16 match, Rawal gave tough fight in the first and second rounds trailing her opponent by just three points (3-6). But she went on to concede three head kicks in the third rounds that saw her lose the match with disparity. A blow on the head fetches a player three points.
Chunara, who competed in the women’s 57kg division, had comfortably beaten Bhutan’s Choden Kinzang 28-6 to ignite Nepal’s hopes of winning first medal in the current edition. But she faced a thumping 20-0 defeat against Pauline Louise Lopez of Philippines in the quarter-final bout. A victory there would have confirmed Nepal at least a bronze. In a lopsided men’s above 80kg fight, Pujari was inflicted a humiliating 21-0 defeat by Kazakh player Ruslan Zhaparov. Zhaparov began by winning three head kicks in the first round and he hardly looked back.
Two taekwondo players - Bhupendra Shrestha (80kg) and Bir Bahadur Mahara (63kg) are set to compete on Wednesday. Nepal coach Bista, the twin bronze medallist of Asiad said: “We need to evaluate our performance rather than focusing on medal. Other countries have made huge investment in taekwondo but we are in the same standard as we were four years ago. If things go the same way, we will remain at the same level four years later as well. The players have done what they needed to,” said Bista.
Nepal’s record setting swimmer Gurung crashed out from the men’s 50m freestyle heats at the Jakarta Aquatic Centre, even without matching his personal best performance in the event. In heats 2, Gurung took 26.33 second to finish third but was at the 46th spot overall among 51 swimmers. He holds the national record of 25.43 second which he had set during the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Turkmenistan in 2017.
Gurung later said he failed to meet his own expectations due to delay in the start. “The 50m freestyle is my event and had prepared focusing on that. I was hopeful that I would better the timing but I failed,” he said adding he had to adjust with the latest technology latest technology used in the jumping marker.
“I will try to give my best in the 100m freestyle,” said Gurung who is scheduled to compete in the event on Thursday. Gaurika Singh will compete in women’s 200m freestyle on Wednesday and Shubham Shrestha will vie in men’s 100m breaststroke.
South Asian Games (SAG) bronze medallist Yubaraj Thapa gave an impressive performance in the nanguan under men’s toulu. Thapa finished ahead of six players including three South Asian opponents. He earned 9.20 points in the nanguan (bare hands performance), a display better than what 2016 SAG gold medallists had given. In the nanchuan (sword), Thapa scored 8.22 points. He finished 17th overall among 23 players. Macau’s Junhua Huang (9.73) won gold, Vietnam’s Quoc Khanh Pham (9.71) took silver and South Korea’s Yongmun Lee (9.71) took bronze.
Wushu coach Amar Bahadur Thing lauded Thapa’s performance. “He performed brilliantly in nanguan. He was neck-to-neck with Chinese player, a good sign for us. We can win gold medal at the South Asian level with such performance,” he said.
Nepal’s paraglider Bijay Gautam is at the 14th spot in men’s individual accuracy after the completion of the fifth round. Gautam, who came second in the third round on Tuesday, was eighth in the fourth. Another Nepali glider Sushil Gurung was 24th in the third, 27th in the fourth and 25th in the fifth rounds. The event will be played until 10th round and finishes on Wednesday, according to Nepal Paragliding Association official Yogesh Bhattarai. Indonesian glider Jafro Megawanto is at top of the table after Tuesday. Altogether 30 paragliders are vying in the event.
In the men’s team accuracy, Nepal came eighth in the third round, ninth in the fourth and eighth in the fifth rounds. Indonesia, China and Malaysia are in the top three spots after the completion of fifth round. The sixth and the final rounds will be held on Wednesday.