From guerilla soldier to top karatekaAnupama Magar brushed aside Asiad bronze medalist Nargis of Pakistan 6-3 to clinch her first international gold.
Former guerilla soldier turned karateka Anupama Magar dedicated her victory to her late mother Dewa Kumari Magar and to the nation after notching gold in the women’s above-68kg kumite (karate) in the 13th South Asian Games at the karate hall in Satdobato, Lalitpur, on Wednesday.
With her win, Nepal have won a total of 10 gold medals in karate at the Games.
After securing a gold in her international debut at the regional sporting spectacle, an emotional Magar paid tribute to her mother, “This win is for my mother who is no longer with us. I have a lot of people to thank, people who have been there for me through my decade-long struggle… this is for my country.”
Magar who did not have her family members in attendance during her mega fight said, “I would have felt some pressure had there been anyone from my family watching me play.”
Magar first took up karate at the cantonment in Sindhuli, one of the seven cantonment centres setup across the country after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement on November 21, 2006. This was where she first honed her skills. Magar’s progress thereon has established her as a star karateka in Nepal.
In 2012, Magar first played at the national level in the 6th National Games where she represented the People’s Liberation Army Sports Club and claimed a bronze medal, following which she joined the Balaju Karate-do Nepal and trained under Dhruva Bikram Malla.
At the 7th National Games, she represented Nepal Police Club and settled for silver but earlier in April this year, at the 8th National Games, Magar was an unmatched force as she clenched her first domestic gold.
Wednesday’s gold for this former guerilla soldier-turned-karateka is not only her first international win but also her a big victory, as Magar finished with a top podium place (6-3), after beating Pakistan’s Nargis Hameedullah, a bronze medalist at the 2018 Asian Games. The 28-year-old, who hails from Udaypur, had stormed past her Sri Lankan opponent 7-4 in the semifinal to secure her berth at the final.