Judokas Chaudhary, Shrestha miss out of the South Asian GamesTable tennis, football and volleyball also trim the squads for the sub-continental sports meet.
The Eighth National Games judo gold medalists Nisha Chaudhary and Pawan Kumar Shrestha were the big casualties as Nepal Judo Association on Sunday finalised a 14-member team for the 13th South Asian Games.
Chaudhary, the women's U-70kg division champion lost to Binita Magar in the selection tournament held to finalise the squad for the 13th South Asian Games set from December 1-10 in Kathmandu. As only the winners of each of the 14 weight divisions were assured of the berths for the Games. Shrestha became the second high profile casualty for the sub-continental sports meet. He lost U-81kg bout to Manish Mahato in the round-robin league which was participated in by the top three finishers of the National Games held on April 18-24 in Province 5.
Top three players of the National Games had been in the national team camp since July 31. The runner-up of each weight division will, however, remain in the training camp as the sparring partners for the qualified judokas. The Games offer 15 gold medals: seven each in men's and women's weight categories besides mixed team event.
Among the selected in men's category were Umesh Magar (U-60kg), Indra Bahadur Shrestha (U-66kg), Sanjit Dangol (U-73kg), Shree Ram Makaju (U-90kg), Ramesh Bahadur and Rajan Joshi (above 100kg). The female players to make the final cut were Soniya Bhatta (U-48kg), Devika Khadka (U-52kg), Manita Shrestha Pradhan (U-57kg), Nirmala Gharti Magar (U-63kg), Punam Shrestha (U-78kg) and Aakriti Joshi (above 78kg).
Nepal Judo Association chief coach Birendra Ranjit said that they were planning to send the selected players for abroad training by next month. "We have already started a discussion with Mongolia and Japan in that regard. Four players will be sent to Japan and 11 to Mongolia to make the players ready for the Games," he said.
Judo was one among the three sports disciplines to fetch gold for Nepal in the 12th South Asian Games in 2016. Judoka Phupu Lhamu Khatri, currently serving a two-year ban until the 2020 Olympics on disciplinary grounds, wushu player Nima Gharti Magar and men's football team had bagged gold in the 2016 Games.
Nepal Table Tennis Association selected preliminary 20-member squad for the 13th South Asian on Sunday.
Ten male and as many female players were selected through qualifying tournament held at the National Table Tennis Training Centre in Lainchaur, informed first vice president of the association Dharam Man Bajracharya. National champion Santoo Shrestha, Binesh Khaniya, Pradip Roka, Sunil Maharjan and Chandan Shahi of Nepal Police Club were selected in men's section along with Nepal APF Club's Purusottam Bajracharya, Shiva Sundar Gothe and Samyog Kapali. Krishna Thapa Magar of and Mani Kumar Lama of Tribhuvan Army were also selected in the preliminary phase.
The women's category saw national champion Nabita Shrestha, Elina Maharjan and Sonu Thapa Magar of Nepal Police make the cut along with Army's Swechchha Nembang, Rabina Maharjan, Dikshya Tamang and Dikshya Dahal. They will be joined by APF's Selisha Khadgi and Sikka Suwal and Province 1's Gita Bhujel. Best five male and female players each will make it the final squad of the South Asian Games.
Nepal Volleyball Association has trimmed down women's volleyball squad to 18 after the first phase for of selection for the 13th South Asian Games on Sunday. In all, 25 players were called for the training on the basis of their performance during the eighth National Games held on April 18-24.
Prativa Mali, Saraswati Chaudhary, Niruta Thagunna, Shanti Tharu, Unisha Bhandari, Arati Subedi, Aruna Shahi, Janaki Bhamgari, Kamala Pun, Reshma Bhandari, Punam Chand, Sangam Mahato, Salina Shrestha, Shanti Tamang, Sofiya Pun, Usha Bista, Sunita Khadka and Hira KC made the cut. The seven players to be left out from the squad were Laxmi Kuma, Mamata Dagaura, Kabita Bhatta, Yamkali Kunwar Magar, Pushpa Shahi, Saraswati Shahi and Chandrakala Kharel.
A coaching team headed by Salina Shrestha as well as Jagdish Bhatta, Bharat Yadav and Uma Devi Gurung had been conducting the training.
Head coach Bal Gopal Maharjan on Sunday reduced the U-23 men's football squad to 32 from the initial 45 for the South Asian Games. The football team in the Game is allowed to field three senior players in the squad and Maharjan named a national captain and first-choice goalkeeper Kiran Chemjong, midfielders trio Bikram Lama, Rohit Chand and Sujal Shrestha along with forward Nawayug Shrestha in the 32-member team. According to Maharjan, best three among five as per the team's requirement will be picked for the final 23-member squad. Assistant coaches Rajesh Manandhar, goalkeeping coach Mrigendra Mishra and National Sports Council head coach Milan Hada and coach Jay Krishna Shrestha are Maharjan's deputy. Nepal are the defending champions.
Meanwhile, Nepal's women team for the Games has also been downsized to 32. The team is set to participate in the Nadezhda Cup on September 6-13 in Kyrgyzstan as part of their preparations for the Games. Nepal head coach Hari Khadka axed 10 players from the initial squad.