Age is just a number, says double gold medal winner ShakyaHaving won three gold and two silver medals at the regional sporting spectacle in her career so far, Shakya has emerged as the most decorated Nepali woman athlete.
Ayasha Shakya won two gold medals in both the individual and pair poomsae category of taekwondo on the opening day of the competition at the 13th South Asian Games on Monday.
Prior to her latest achievements, Shakya had two silver and one gold at the regional sporting spectacle under her belt. Having changed her discipline from kyorugi to poomsae, Shakya competed in the above 29 age category.
Having won three gold and two silver medals at the regional sporting spectacle in her career so far, Shakya has emerged as the most decorated Nepali woman athlete.
Ayasha had previously claimed a gold at the 11th South Asian Games held in Bangladesh in 2010. She had also won silver at the 2006 Games in Sri Lanka and the 2016 Games in India.
Shakya, who was the first to perform, scored 9.940 points out of 10—more than anyone in the fray. Prajakta Prakash Ankolkar finished second with 7.640, while Gayathri Sandamali Parawahera Mehenchi Arachchigey of Sri Lanka and Mehru Nisha of Pakistan finished third.
Less than an hour after winning gold in the individual category, Shakya returned to the ring. She partnered with Sanjiv Kumar Ojha in the pair poomsae category to outperform their rivals from four nations, garnering 8.270 points. Pakistan took silver while Bangladesh and Sri Lanka clinched bronze.
The 32-year-old, who stands at five feet four inches, expressed her gratitude to everyone who supported her. “I have no words to thank everyone who supported me throughout my career. I want to remember all of my coaches, family members and those who believed in me,” she said.
Shakya added, “It was not easy to change from Kyorugi.” She credited her success to the support from her legendary husband and taekwondo ace Dipak Bista and the input of her coaches.
“I wanted to set an example for others, and I believe that today was the day that dream was realised,” said Shakya. “I urge the women who quit their career after marriage or after having children to pursue what they love. Age or physical condition should not be a hindrance.”
After Shakya’s match, her husband and coach, Olympian Dipak Bista said, “In my long career, I won four gold medals at the South Asian Games, but watching her play today was the most nervous moment of my life. She has done all of us proud.”