Nepal’s Phupu Lamhu Khatri (top) competes during a South Asian Judo Championship match at the Army Physical Training and Sports Center in Lagankhel, Lalitpur on Saturday.
KATHMANDU, April 22: Nepal’s Ravin Shrestha became the first and the only gold medalist for Nepal in the eighth South Asian Judo Championship on Saturday.
Shrestha defeated all three of his opponents including his compatriot Suryaman Lama, Bandula Bajjala of Sri Lanka and Md Abdul Kalam Ajad of Bangladesh to secure the gold in men’s U-100 kg league matches held at the Army Physical Training and Sports Center in Lagankhel. Kalam secured second place and Lama finished third.
India started the championship in a positive note winning four gold medals in the opening day. Likewise, Pakistan won two golds and Nepal finished with one gold medal with seven more golds up for grabs on the second day of the tournament on Sunday.
In men’s above 100 kg final, Shah Hussain Shah of Pakistan defeated Yasith Rathnayake of Sri Lanka to win the gold. Nepal’s Rajan Joshi became third.
In men’s U-90 kg final, Qaisar Khan of Pakistan scored ippon against Shree Ram Makaju of Nepal to win the gold medal. Nepal’s Ramesh Bahadur Chand claimed the third spot.
In women’s U-63 kg final, Sunibala Devi Huidrom of India defeated Phupu Lamhu Khatri of Nepal. She defeated SAG gold medalist Phupu on the basis of ground technique (osaekomi). Bangladesh’s Kaniz Sultana Happy secured the third place.
Likewise, in women’s U-57 kg final, Anita Angom Chanu of India defeated Lila Adhikari of Nepal on ground technique to win the gold. Sri Lanka’s Madushani Liyanage became third.
Also, in women’s U-52 kg final, Kalpana Devi Thoudam of India defeated Maryam of Pakistan to win gold. Nepal’s Devika Khadka secured the third place.
In women’s U-48 kg category, India’s Sushila Devi Likmabam won gold defeating Pakistan’s Humaria Ashiq. Bhutan’s Phub Dem Monger got the third place.
The tournament is featuring the host Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, while the Maldives is not take part this time.
A total of 106 players are fighting for seven golds, seven silvers and 14 bronzes in men’s and women’s individual categories each, while they will be contesting for one gold, one silver and two bronzes in the men’s and women’s team events each.
The first day of the tournament saw competitions in men’s U-90 kg, U-100 kg and above 100 kg and women’s U-48 kg, U-52 kg, U-57 kg and U-63 kg.
On Sunday, players will compete for a total of seven golds in women’s U-70 kg, U-78 kg and above 78 kg as well as in men’s U-60 kg, U-66 kg, U-73 kg and U-81 kg weight categories.
Every game is of four minutes each according to the international rule.
Nepal has two teams in the regional competition while all the other participating countries have one team each comprising of nine male players and nine female players. Nepal, by the virtue of being the host, is allowed to feature 36 players divided in team A and B.
“We are preparing for the Asian Games and we have set the goal of qualifying in the Olympics directly and not from wild card,’’ said Nepal Judo Association President Deepak Harsha Bajracharya.
Likewise, NJA General Secretary Dharma Kumar Shrestha thanked all the well wishers and supports for their generous support in organising this event.
This is the fourth time Nepal is organizing the South Asian-level championship. According to NJA president, they had earlier organized the inaugural South Asian Judo Championship more than two decades ago in Kathmandu and recently hosted the championship in 2008 and 2014.