Nepal trims down number of players to 597 from 639 in the South Asian GamesParagliding event scrapped after insufficient registration from the visiting teams.
Nepal has reduced the number of players in the 13th South Asian Games to be held from December 1 to 10 in Nepal.
Now, Nepal will field 597 players instead of 639 declared previously by the National Sports Council. The Games will see 26 events instead of 27 after paragliding was scrapped owing to insufficient registration from the visiting teams.
Altogether 313 male and 284 female athletes will be participating in the Games.
Issuing new data of the players for the Games, Rim Bahadur Ranabhat, the coordinator of the National Team Preparation Committee, said on Tuesday that altogether 42 players from athletics, weightlifting and paragliding have been reduced for the Games.
“The number of players was reduced on the basis of the recommendation from the respective sports associations. The list previously published was of players who were in the final phase of training camps,” said Ranabhat. “But the list unveiled today is on the basis of final entry by numbers.”
Athletics will have 26 male and 18 female players. An earlier list prepared by Nepal for the Games had 36 male and as many female players.
The event will have a total of 36 gold medals—18 each in men’s and women’s category.
A country is eligible to field two players in each of the categories. But Nepal has trimmed down the squad on the basis of track record and performance.
“We are not that strong in events like short-distance race, throw and jump,” said Chandra Bahadur Gurung, Nepal’s athletics chief coach. “So we have registered only one player in such events. But there are two players each in events like marathon and middle- and long-distance races where we have potential. However, we have registered at least one player in all 18 events.”
Of the 10 categories in weightlifting, Nepal will compete in seven in both men’s and women’s section.
“We are yet to decide on the weight categories. The decision will be made only a day before competition after carefully analysing the registration of other countries and our prospect to win the medal,” said Partha Sarathi Sen Gupta, general secretary of Nepal Weightlifting Association. “Our decision to trim down the number is for more competition among Nepali lifters.”
Paragliding event was scrapped following only two entries from Nepal and Sri Lanka. There must be at least four registrations for an event to take place.
Ranabhat also expressed satisfaction with the team’s preparation for the Games. “We have sent players of 21 different games for abroad training,” said Ranabhat. “The training sessions have been divided into four phases, and now we are in the final phase.”
Ranabhat said he expected Nepal to surpass the previous best gold haul of 31, which was achieved during the eighth Games in 1999 in Kathmandu. There were altogether 12 events in the 1999 Games.