KATHMANDU, Dec 9: Gaurika Singh became the most successful female athlete of Nepal at the South Asian Games (SAG) history as the teen swimmer has taken her gold tally to three in the ongoing edition of the competition.
She won the gold on Sunday in the women’s 400 meters freestyle defeating India’s Shivangi Sarma and Sri Lanka’s Ramudi Nulara Samarakoon.
Singh completed the distance in 4:25.28 minutes also improving her own previous national record of 4:25.28 minutes set on May 15 this year. Likewise, Sarma took 4:26.22 to finish second, while Samarakoon won the bronze with a timing of 4:41.91 minutes.
Unaware about her record, Singh was delighted to win three gold medals in the single SAG which has inspired many, if not all, women in the country.
“I feel very good to win the three golds in a single SAG and more so the first woman to do so,” Singh expressed, “More and more women should be encouraged to play sports. The fact that I am an inspiration to other girls in the country is a matter of pride for me.” She also added to her one silver she won on Saturday, to win another in the women’s 50 meters backstroke, but broke another of her’s national record.
She finished second with the timing of 29.71, behind only India’s Manna Rajiv Patel, who had a timing of 28.94. Likewise, India’s Ridhima Veerendrakumar won the bronze clocking 30.46.
Singh improved on her previous national record which was set on May 15 as well.
She added that she did not anticipate winning three golds and the emotion was the same when winning all of them.
“I was shocked when I won my first medal, and the emotions was pretty much the same when I won the second and the third,” an excited Singh said, “I can’t describe my feeling. I feel very proud for my country.”
Singh also reflected on how fast the government constructed the infrastructures for the SAG to be organized.
“It’s good to see how the infrastructures have been developed. There was a doubt whether the games will organized and they did it in a short space of time.”
Duana Lama won her second silver of the competition in the women’s 200 meters butterfly, falling behind to India’s Apeksha Delyla Fernandes.
Lama, clocking 2:33.16 minutes, also improved on her previous national record.
Fernandes won the gold medal in the category covering the distance in 2:21.83 minutes, while Bangladesh’s Junayna Ahmed claimed the silver timing 2:33.75.
Nepal also won the bronze medal in women’s 800 freestyle relay with a timing of 9:03.04. India won the gold clocking 8:41.07 minutes, while Sri Lanka bagged the bronze covering the distance in 8:54.91 minutes.
In men’s 400 meters freestyle, India duo Kushagra Rawat won the gold and the silver with the timings of 3:49.76 and 4:01.02 minutes respectively, while Bangladesh’s Faisal Ahamed won the bronze clocking 4:12.24. Nepal’s Nasir Yahya Hussain clocked 4:33.05 and finished sixth.
In men’s 500 meters backstroke, India won the gold again covering the distance in 24.78, while the Sri Lankan duo Halpewaththaga Dimu and Sembukttiaracchige S De Silva bagged the silver and the bronze with the timings of 24.95 and 25.79 respectively. Nepal’s Alex Gadegaard Shah set a timing of 28.03 and finished seventh. In men’s 200 meters butterfly, India duo Supriya Mondal and Mihir Rajendra Ambre won the gold and the bronze. Mondal timed 2:02.45, while Ambre clocked 2:09.14. Sri Lanka’s Sandev Sa Senaratna Mudiyansel won the bronze with a timing of 2:09.14, while Nepal’s Anubhav Subba finished at the bottom clocking 2:24.10.