Dhami claims first wrestling gold for NepalThe 19-year-old floored Rimi Sarkar of Bangladesh 6-1.
Sangita Dhami claimed her first-ever wrestling gold for Nepal at the South Asian Games after she defeated Bangladesh's Rimi Sarkar in the final at Janakpur on Saturday.
In the women's 55kg gold medal clash, the 19-year-old Dhami edged Sarkar 6-1, by putting pressure on her opponent in the first round itself.
Backed by a roaring home crowd, Dhami earned three points in the first round as Sarkar failed to get a single point. In the second round, Dhami attempted to hold her Bangladeshi opponent while Sarkar tried to send Nepal's opponent out of the ring. Finally, Sarkar was able to push Dhami out of the ring, which got her first point in the second round.
Later Dhami floored her opponent and kept her motionless for a minute before winning the match 6-1—the first ever wrestling win for Nepal in the Games.
Tears rolled down Dhami's eyes as she was carried by Nepal Wrestling Association Senior Vice President Salim Miya Ansari as part of a victory lap. "We have won wrestling gold for the first time. This game will add another identity to Nepal," said Dhami, who hails from Bhimdatta Municipality, Kanchanpur.
Dhami, who comes from an underprivileged family, was introduced to the game after she was spotted by wrestling coach Rajendra Chand, who had gone to different schools in Kanchanpur searching and recruiting women players. "Only 30 girls showed interest in the game and Dhami was one of them," Chand told the Post. He trained the girls on a mud ring in Kanchanpur.
"Dhami was hard-working and brave. She also had the ability to learn new skills quickly and implement them in the game," said Chand, who was over the moon with Dhami's maiden gold in the event. After being picked for the Games, Dhami trained for almost five months in Hetauda, learning and polishing new skills.
Nepal have previously won five bronze medals during the Kathmandu Games in 1999 and two bronze medals in the last edition of Games in 2016 in India.
India claimed four gold medals, Pakistan two gold and one silver, while Nepal bagged one gold, one silver and three bronze medals. Sri Lanka have three silver while Bangladesh have one silver and bronze each.