KATHMANDU, Dec 31: The year 2018 was a memorable year for Nepali sports, with bodybuilder Maheshwor Maharjan clinching the first ever international gold medal in body building for the country, and Nepali paragliders bagging first silver at the Asian Games after 20 years of the country’s participation in the Asian jamboree.
Here, Republica takes a look at the sporting highlights of 2018:
First gold in body building
Maheshwor Maharjan won a gold medal in the 10th World Body Building and Sports Championship held in Chiang Mai, Thailand, from December 11 to 17. He became the only Nepali player to win a gold medal in an international event. He won the medal in 75 kg weight category.
Maharjan had already won a gold medal in Asia when he claimed the medal in the 50th Asian Body Building Championship held in Bhutan in 2016. As far as now, Maharjan is the only Nepali player to win two international level gold medals in Nepal’s history in body building championships.
First silver at Asian Games after two decades
Nepal wrote history by winning a silver medal after 20 years of its first participation in the Asian Games. It stood second in the paragliding event at the 18th Asian Games. Nepal won the accolade after the end of the fifth round of the men’s team cross-country event.
Nepal completed the 14-kilometer task only behind Japan, the gold medalist, on the last day of the category.
20 gold medals in karate
Nepal finished as the champion in the Asia Cup Fourth International Karate Championship held in Mumbai of India on December 23, clinching 20 gold medals.
A squad from the Sports Science Academy of Nepal represented the country in the tournament. They won 20 gold towards Kata and Kumite and two silvers.
Manang wins 8th A-Division League title
Manang Marshyangdi Club clinched the Martyr’s Memorial A-Division League with two games to spare, after defeating Sankata Club 3-1 taking its winning streak to 11 straight games on December 27.
Manang has been successful to win the league title for the highest eight times. Manang won the other seven titles in 1986, 1987, 1989, 2000, 2003, 2006 and 2014.
Rohit Chand wins best player in Indonesian League
Nepal national football team defender Rohit Chand helped his team Persija Jakarta win the Go-Jek Liga 1 title in Jakarta, Indonesia on December 9. He was instrumental for Persija in the title win as he played 31 out of the 34 matches for the team scoring three goals. Not just that, he also won the ‘most valuable player’ of the tournament.
Kiran Chemjong wins best goalkeeper in Maldivian League
Nepali goalkeeper Kiran Chemjong got the ‘best goalkeeper’ award at Maldives Football Awards 2018 for helping TC Sports Club win the National League.
Tulshi Thapa Magar wins bronze in Muay-Thai Championship
Tulshi Thapa Magar won the bronze medal in the Asian Muay Thai Championship organized by the International Federation of Muwa Thai Amateur and the Federation of Association Muwa Thai Amateur in Macau on December 19.
Pratima Sherpa meets Tiger Woods
Nepal number one female golfer Pratima Sherpa’s documentary about her life struggles was premiered in New York, the United States.
The 18-year old Sherpa, who went to the US for the documentary premier, took full advantage of the opportunity to meet American golf superstar Tiger Woods on April 25. She also got a chance to train with Woods for half an hour at the Medalist Golf Club in Florida.
Nepal organizes Paragliding World Cup
Nepal organized the Paragliding Accuracy World Cup for the first time in its history after commercially starting the game in Pokhara nearly 20 years ago. The tournament was held from November 1 to 4. Korea won the tournament, while Nepal finished eighth.