Rana sisters reach quarterfinals at Asian Games; Gaurika disappoints

Published On: August 21, 2018 08:54 AM NPT By: AJAY PHUYAL

Jakarta, Aug 21: Nepali siblings Mayanka and Mahika Rana reached the quarterfinals of tennis in the women’s double category on Monday at the ongoing Asian Games in Indonesia. The duo overcame the Maldivian duo Irfa Mahir and Jina Abdul Rashid 6-4, 6-1. 

However, Nepal’s mixed double team of Pranab Khanal and Mahika lost to Hong Kong’s Pak Long Young and Ling Xhanga Ke 6-0, 6-1. Similarly, in the men’s double category, the duo of Samrakshak Bhusan Bajracharya and Abhishek Banstola lost to the Indian pair of Sumit Nagal and Raj Kumar Ramanathan 6-1, 6-1.

Nepal’s Gaurika Singh failed to live up to her expectations as she dropped her own national record by 00.03 seconds at the Asian Games in Jakarta on Monday. Singh could only complete the 100 meter freestyle by one minute 00.82 seconds missing her national record of one minute 00.79 seconds. China’s Zu Minghui won the set in 54.67 seconds.

Nepal’s Gaurika Singh reacts after her woman’s 100m freestyle heat during the swimming competition at the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia on Monday. | AP/RSS

Singh did manage to finish ahead of Mongolian Enkhzul Khuyagbatar (1:02:19) and Maldivian Sajna Aisath (1:17:19). All the swimmers completing ahead of 56:49 seconds were qualified for the next round.
Likewise, Nepal’s Tisa Shakya improved her personal record during the Hit 4 of 100 meter freestyle. She finished last but improved her personal best to 1:03:96 seconds from previously recorded national best of 1:07:25 seconds. Japan’s Rikako Ekee won the hit recording the time of 54:33 seconds.

Nepal’s Sagar Guvaju won the round of 32 taekwondo match 54-40 in the 58 kg category against Bhutanese player Tenzing Dorjee to open Nepal’s winning account in the Asian Games on Monday. 
He lost to Vietnam’s Vo Quoc Hung in the round of 16. The match between Sagar and Vo was delayed by 3 hours due to technical problems occurred in sensors of helmet and chest pad, in which the Nepali player went down in an one-sided affair 24-8 against Vietnam’s Vo.

Similarly, women players Nima Gurung and Sangita Basyal were knocked out of the first round. Nima was defeated 23-10 by Lebanon’s Laetitia Aaun and Sangita was overcame by Philippines’s Darlene Arpon in a closely fought match of 20-17. Sangita, 5 feet 2 inches, was inferior to Arpon in height by seven inches.

However, coach Deepak Bista lauded Sangita for her performance. “Sometimes performance is important than the result. Unfortunately, Sangita was not able to convert her grueling performance into positive result,” he said. Likewise, appreciating Sangita’s performance, Nepal Olympic Committee’s executive secretary Sujan Lal Shrestha awarded her with US$ 100. Shrestha also announced to provide 100 dollars to each player who reaches the quarters, 500 dollars for bronze medalist, and 1000 dollars for gold medalist in taekwondo.

The Nepali badminton double’s team that reached the last eight after defeating Pakistan on Sunday bowed down to Chinese Taipei in straight sets of 3-0. Similarly, Nepal also lost its single match against Taipei’s Tin Chen despite a gutting performance of 21-13, 21-16 by Ratnajit Tamang.  Tamang’s loss was followed by Dipesh Dhami and Navin Shrestha’s defeat against Wang Tiju Wei and Xenhao Msu 21-5, 21-14 and 21-10, 21-11 respectively.

Nepal Badminton Association’s Ramji Bahadur Shrestha was impressed by Tamang’s performance against the world sixth-ranked player. “We didn’t expect Tamang to play this good. My friends in Badminton Asia are excited by the prospects of Nepali players in this sport with increased investment and hard work,” Shrestha told Republica.

Similarly, inspired by Tamang’s performance, South Korean Badminton Association’s president Park Ki Hyuen invited Nepal to send two players for Korea Masters matches in November. “The South Korean association has invited Tamang and one other player to take part in November’s Korea Masters. He also promised to send a world class coach to Nepal if the two players manage to give an impressive performance in the Masters,” Shrestha said.

According to him, Nepal will only have to arrange food and accommodation for the coach, and all other expenses including salary will be covered by the South Korean association. “Their contribution will be to the tune of 6,000 to 10,000 dollars per month. You see, one player’s good performance can open so many doors. That’s why our country needs to invest more in sports. Only then can we perform well in international matches,” Shrestha said.

Rajesh Magar finished seventh in the mountain bike downhill race participated by nine riders. Magar finished ahead of Timor Leste’s Lee Matais by 29 seconds. Indonesian Papo Ario Sejati failed to complete the distance. Magar completed the distance in 3 minutes 12:896 seconds. Winner Khoiful Mukib of Indonesia completed the distance 57:865 seconds before him.

Nepal’s Kalpana Pariyar and Sushmita Nepal finished on bottom of the table in the qualifying round for the 10-meter air rifle competition. Pariyar scored 594.8 out of the available 800 points, and Nepal had to do with 587.1. Similarly, in the men’s category, Suse Chaudhary collected 581.0 points and finished 42nd out of 44 participants.

Nepal’s Nima Gharti Magar recorded a new national record of 9.17 points in Nan Tao on Monday breaking her previous record of 8.43 points made during the South Asian Games. 

However, she finished 11th in the event participated by 12 athletes ahead of Kazakasthan’s Diana Utmyamiseva’s 7.16 points. Similarly, in the men’s category, Yuvraj Thapa could only score 8.22 in Nan Chuan, finishing 21 out of 23 athletes. 

In men’s Sanda of 53 kg limit, Nepal’s Padam Bahadur Thakulla was defeated by Laos’ Saukafone Khamla 2-0.

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