Lifting gold medalist Chaudhary found deadThe 23-year-old is the only female weightlifter of the country to win gold in the South Asian Games.
Sanju Chaudhary, the only female gold medalist weightlifter of Nepal in the South Asian Games (SAG), was found dead in her coach's house in Lubhu, Lalitpur, on early Tuesday morning. The 23-year-old was found hanging in a room that was locked from inside, according to police.
According to preliminary investigation of Nepal Police, the 13th SAG gold medalist died by suicide. However, the reason behind her action is yet to be known.
"The initial finding shows that she died by hanging herself,” said Siddi Bikram Shah, the superintendent of police at the District Police Range Lalitpur. “Her room was locked from inside. There are no signs of injury or any kind of bruise on her body."
He also said that the Police are still investigating why she took such action. "It is yet to be known why she took such action,” said Shah. “We have taken her cell phone and have sent it to a digital forensic laboratory. The reason could be known after we get details of her call record, messages and analyse them."
Her autopsy was conducted at Patan Hospital and the report is yet to come. Her body was kept at the National Sports Council (NSC) for a couple of hours to pay tribute on Tuesday before transporting it to her home in Banke.
Chaudhary, one of the promising lifters from Banke, had arrived in Kathmandu for preliminary phase qualifiers of the Asian Games that took place on April 30 at the Dasharath Stadium in Tripureshwar. She was also selected in the qualifiers for further training.
She had been staying at the house of lifting coach Sanjay Maharjan in Mahalaxmi Municipality-8, Lubhu, Lalitpur. According to coach Maharjan, who had mentored her for a long time, “everything was okay until Monday evening.”
"There was a small gathering at my home to celebrate Lubhu Jatra which was on Monday. There were around a dozen guests, most of them from lifting family including lifting players and coaches. She had served the food and everything seemed fine before she went to sleep at around half past nine yesterday (Monday)," said Maharjan.
"We have morning training sessions at Satdobato starting at 6:00 in the morning. But she did not get up today. She neither replied when I knocked on her door, nor answered my phone call. So I looked from the window and saw her hanging."
Partha Sarathi Sen Gupta, the senior vice-president of Nepal Weightlifting Association and former chief coach, said that Chuadhary was one of the most promising lifters of the country. "She is already a gold medalist in the South Asian region and she could have ruled the game for more 10 to 12 years in the country," said Gupta, who was also one of the guests at Maharjan's house on Monday night.
"She had served me food and even came to see me off. Maybe she wanted to say a last goodbye," said Gupta. "She did not show any signs she would take such a harsh action. Along with game and training it is high time that the sports authority takes issues of players' mental health seriously."