Nepal’s Sanil Shahi (right) wins the men’s light weight (60kg) semifinal bout against Sri Lanka’s Jeewantha Nisshanka during the boxing competition of the 13th South Asian Games at the Karate Academy Hall in Satdobato, Lalitpur on Sunday. Photo: Keshab Thoker/Republica
LALITPUR, Dec 9: Nepal will have a chance to end the 20 years of excruciating wait for the boxing glory when nine boxers go into the ring on Monday and Tuesday.
Since Prakash Thapa Magar and Ram Chandra Thapa Magar won the gold medals in boxing at 1999 South Asian Games--held in Kathmandu, no Nepali boxers have been able to return the gold glory yet.
On day three, Mala Rai, Sanil Shahi and Ganesh Pradhan advanced into the finals.
Rai defeated Kosala Nilmini Athawuda of Sri Lanka in women’s fly weight (51 kg) category to set up the gold medal clash against Indian opponent Rani Pinki, who earlier defeated Pakistan’s Razia Bano Aziz in another semifinal.
Shahi overcame Jeewantha Nisshanka of Sri Lanka in men’s light weight (60 kg) category in the semifinal bout. He will face Varinder Singh of India in the final.
Sachin Kumar was the first Indian to fall in the entire competition as he crashed out in the semifinal against Nepal’s Ganesh Pradhan in men’s light heavy weight (81) category. Pradhan will face Rumish Sandakelum Wanni of Sri Lanka in the final. Wanni knocked out Pakistan’s Awais Ali Khan earlier, who had to be stretchered off after he was unable to stand.
Lalita Maharjan (48 kg), Minu Gurung (54 kg), Sangita Sunar (60 kg) and Bhupendra Thapa Magar (64 kg) advanced into the finals on Saturday while Ashish Duwadi (over 91 kg) and Punam Rawal (64 kg) directly advanced through bye.
All of them will enter the ring in the finals with a single purpose—to return the gold glory in boxing, but it may not come easy as all the finals except one are against the dominating Indian opponents, who have reached the finals in 15 categories (including both men and women) of out 15.
Tej Bahadur Gurung and Bikash Lama also lost to Indian opponents Sparsh Kumar and Krishan Visak in semifinal bouts.
Kumar will meet Syed Md Asif in the men’s fly weight (52 kg) final while Vikas will fight against Zaib Gul in welter weight (69 kg) final. Gul earlier beat Md Abdur Rahim in semis.
Chandra Kala Thapa also fell to Sri Lankan Krismi Ayoma Lankapurayalage in women’s feather weight (57kg) category in the semis. Lankapurayalage will face Sonia Lather in the final, who advanced seeing off Mehreen of Pakistan in another semifinal.
In other bouts of the day three, Manju Bamboriya of India beat Rukhsana Perveen in the women’s light welter (64kg) weight category to secure the final clash against Nepal’s Punam Rawal.
Also, India’s Narender will face Nepal’s Anish Duwadi in super heavy weight (over 91 kg) finals.
Narender beat Buwaneka Eranda Addurakaram in the final.