KATHMANDU, March 7: Nepali athletes Som Bahadur Kumal and Yam Sajan Sunar are set to participate in the Brunei Open Athletics Championship scheduled for March 18 to 19 in Darussalam, Brunei.
Som, the gold medalist of 400 m and 800 m races during the national games, will compete in both the events. Similarly, Yam who had also bagged gold medals in the national games will take part in the 100 m and 200 m sprints.
Nepal Athletics Association (NAA) is sending the Nepali players to the championship upom the invitation of Brunei's athletics association.
Tribhuvan Army Club's Som and Yam of Mid-western Region were selected on the basis of their performance in the national games held in Eastern Region some months ago, according to NAA's General Secretary Sunil Rajbanshi.
“As our idea is to send our bright prospects to the invitational international event, we are sending Som and Yam to Brunei given their performance in the national games,” said Rajbanshi.
Yam Sajan was declared the best male player in athletics event at national games winning two golds in 100 m and 200 m sprints while Som had snatched three golds in 400 m, 800 m and 4X400 m events.
Rajbanshi also said that chances of Nepali sprinters doing well at international level is another reason behind selecting those players. “Som and Yam both are very good sprinters and they have been doing well in domestic competitions including the national games. So, we can expect good results in Brunei,” added Rajbanshi.
The 23-year-old athlete Som says setting new national record is his primary objective. “I want to give my personal best in the tournament but the main objective will be setting new record besides my attempt to get a medal for the country,” said Som. The national record in 400 and 800 m events are 48.91 seconds and 1 minute 53 seconds set by Dhani Ram Chaudhary. Meanwhile, Som's personal best records are 48.32 seconds in 400 m and 1.50 minutes in 800 m. However, his record in the national games was only 49.68 seconds and 2.2 minutes. “Despite winning gold in national games, my timing wasn't good given the poor running track of the venue in Itahari. But I am training hard this time to do better than in the past,” added Som.
Meanwhile, Yam who has national records to his name has set sight of surpassing his personal best in Brunei. To win gold in 100 m and 200 m races, sprinter Yam had clocked 10.6 seconds and 21.7 seconds respectively. “My primary objective is to surpass my personal best record and set new record. I also want to win medal but the chance of doing so will depend on what kind of competitors I will have to face in the championship,” said Yam. However, he said he is in very good physical condition than in the past. “I was just recuperating from injury while taking part in the 12th South Asian Games (SAG) and couldn't do well in the event. But this time, I am in good condition so hopefully I can perform well in this international event,” added Yam. Nepali players will leave for Brunei's capital Darussalam on March 16.