Home Sports Nepali athletes not given enough time to acclimatise in Rio de Janeiro

Nepali athletes not given enough time to acclimatise in Rio de Janeiro

File photo of Hari Kumar Rimal. Photo: THT

The authorities concerned do not give proper care to the players, as they know that the athletes cannot win

Rio de Janeiro, August 15, 2016: Athletes, coaches and experts at the Rio Olympic Games believe players need to rest for more than a week to acclimatise at a new place before participating in any event.

According to Nepal team doctor Saroj Krishna Shrestha, the biological clock in the human body takes at least seven days to get adjusted to new places. “It depends on the time zone. If the time difference is two to four hours, the human body can acclimatise in two to three days.

The more the time difference, the more time the human body needs,” Dr Shrestha told The Himalayan Times.

Seven players from Nepal are in Rio de Janeiro to participate in the Olympic Games and Dr Shrestha said the athletes should have at least seven to 10 days’ rest before their events. “The time difference is almost nine hours and the players had to face hectic flight schedule from Kathmandu to Rio de Janerio,” added Dr Shrestha.

Athletics coach Pushpa Raj Ojha said the five-day rest was not enough for athletes. “These players are not getting enough rest before competing on such a huge stage,” said the 1984 Olympian Ojha. “They need a rest of at least 10 days,” said Ojha, who arrived here along with athletes Saraswati Bhattarai and Hari Kumar Rimal on August 8.

Bhattarai competed in 1,500m heats on Friday evening and set the new national record, while Rimal is scheduled to run the 5,000m race on August 17.

Swimmer Shirish Gurung, who broke the national record in 100-metre freestyle, also complained of inadequate time for acclimatising. Gurung competed in heats six days after he landed in Rio. He became the first swimmer to break the national record in Olympics but he was not satisfied with the resting period and the preparation facilities back home.

“I heard Australian swimmers trained at nights so that they did not have problems in swimming in Rio,” said Gurung. “We do not have such facilities at home even if we want to prepare in line with the host nation’s time zone,” he added.

Athlete Rimal said the players were not treated properly. “The officials say we are not competing for medals in Olympics,” said Rimal. “The authorities concerned do not give proper care to the players, as they know that the athletes cannot win medals in Olympics,” said Rimal.

“Neither the Nepal Olympic Committee nor the Nepal Athletics Association took proper initiative when we demanded training to prepare for the Olympic Games. We were simply told to continue with what we had been doing,” he said. “So we trained on our own with coach Pushpa Raj Ojha and we were provided with the proper training only two months before the Games,” Rimal added.

Out of seven Nepali players, five have completed their events. Swimmer Gaurika Singh became the youngest athlete in Rio at 13 years and 255 days when she took part in 100m backstroke heats, while another swimmer Shirish Gurung bettered his national record in 100m freestyle.

Athlete Saraswati Bhattarai shattered the 26-year-old national record in 1,500m race, whereas judoka Phupu Lhamu Khatri played for four minutes against Cuban opponent in 63kg weight category. Archer Jit Bahadur Muktan faces a defeat at the hands of India in round of 64 in Individual Recurve.

Athlete Hari Kumar Rimal is scheduled to take part in 5,000m race on August 17, while taekwondo player Nisha Rawal will fight in the 67kg weight category bout three days later.

Three players swimmers Singh and Gurung and judoka Khatri have already returned home, while four others are in Rio.

By Mahesh Acharya