Taekwondo coach rues poor preparations and meager investment
August 22, 2018 10:05 AM NPT
By: AJAY PHUYAL
Nepal’s Gyani Chunara (left) competes with Philippines’ Pauline Louise Lopez under women’s 57 kg weight category in the taekwondo event at the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia on Tuesday. Photo: Ajay Phuyal/ Republica
JAKARTA, Aug 22: Taekwondo head coach Deepak Bista has blamed Nepal’s lack of preparations for failure to get any medal at the ongoing Asian Games.
“Luck was not on our side this time to get any medal. We were never going to win one with the kind of our preparation. This is the true of state of sports in this country,” expressed an angry and dejected four-time South Asian gold medalist Deepak Bista, after a series of disappointments.
Nepal lost all the nine events (three of Poomsae, and six of Kyorugi) of taekwondo at Indonesia. Nisha Rawal lost to Chinese Pan Gao in an one-sided affair of 6-22 during the round-of-sixteen match in the women’s division for 67 kg limit on Tuesday.
Likewise, Gyani Chunara lost her quarterfinal bout against Philippines’ Pauline Louise Lopez 20-0 under the weight category of 57 kg. Following the pattern, Anuj Pujari of the men’s category lost 21-0 against Kazakhstan’s Ruslan Japarov. “Every country has started to invest higher in taekwondo these days. We are degraded in terms of government investment,” Bista said. “Gyani played against trains in the United States and is internationally-ranked. But we know how insincerely we train here in Nepal.”
“We need regular high-level training and coaching to expect medals in big events like the Asian Games,” he added.
“What can you do when your valuable time to prepare for the events is wasted in power tussle between Nepal Taekwondo Association and National Taekwondo Association?” said equally angered Norbu Lama and Badri Prasad Ghimire, assistant coaches for taekwondo. “The players were always in unwanted stress of missing participation at the Asian Games. The officials are responsible for this state of affairs in our sports.” Players participation in the Asian Games was in doldrums after the Nepal Sports Council (NSC) registered a parallel taekwondo association, possibly to give opportunity to cadres of the then Nepal Communist Party (Maoist-Center), with whom the NSC officials had close affinity.
The NSC and Nepal Olympic Committee (NOC) had tried to justify sending large number of players -- 185 -- for preparation of South Asian Games.
The Indian team’s 6-member taekwondo team proved that a large number is just a waste, by faring far better than the 10-member Nepali team.
“It’s true that the number is high and we shouldn’t be spending from the state coffers like that. But if we hadn’t done that, other players who were defeated by these players would have been boarded with parallel body’s approval. That way there would have been chances of defaming the nation,” said Lama. “These days, athletes have started to disobey coaches. Ministers and secretaries call us if anything goes against them.”
Four athletes -- Bir Bahadur Mahra, Bhupen Shrestha, Asmita Khadka, and Gyanendra Khadka -- will represent Nepal in 63 kg (men), 80 kg (men), 49 kg (women) and 68 kg (men) categories on Wednesday.