Sunsari, December 25, 2016:Â Tribhuvan Army Club athlete Hari Kumar Rimal bagged the first gold medal of the seventh National Games here at the Itahari Stadium, while Nepal Police Clubâ€™s Chandra Kala Lamgade became the first athlete to break the national record today.
Rimal won the 1,500 meters race in his National Games debut. Rimal took four minutes and 04.04 seconds to win the event ahead of his teammate Chhatra Bahadur Dahal (4:04.73) and NPCâ€™s Karan Khadka (4:11.45).
â€œI have won many other competitions but winning the gold in the mega event in the first participation is special one for me,â€ said Olympian Rimal, who will also compete in the 5,000m and 10,000m races.
Rimal recently competed in 5,000m in Rio Olympics held in Brazil.
Lamgade set the new mark in womenâ€™s shot-put by throwing 11.56 meters, beating her own previous record of 11.03 metres set during the 12th South Asian Games held in India in February.
Tribhuvan Army Clubâ€™s Amrita Mahato (10.12m) won silver and NPCâ€™s Bashanti Chaudhary (9.75) claimed bronze. TACâ€™s Tanka Dahal (13.55m), NPCâ€™s Puskal Khadka (13.50m) and Prem Prakash Khadka (12.68m) of APF won top three positions in the menâ€™s shot-put.
Yam Sajan Sunar of Mid-western Region and Krishna Chaudhary of Tribhuvan Army Club won gold medals in the 100m sprint. Sunar clocked 10.70 seconds to finish first in menâ€™s section, while TACâ€™s Anand Dev Chaudhary bagged silver in 11.20 seconds and Ashish Chaudhary of Nepal APF Club finished third in 11.80 seconds.
Similarly, TACâ€™s Krishna Chaudhary took 13.15 seconds to win the womenâ€™s 100m gold, finishing ahead of her teammate Durga Devkota (13.20) and Nepal Police Clubâ€™s Chandra Kala Thapa(13.32). â€œI am happy to win the medal and finishing the race ahead of Olympian Thapa is a motivational factor for me,â€ said Chaudhary, who won the sprint medal in her first National Games participation.
Likewise, another Rio Olympics participant Saraswati Bhattarai claimed the womenâ€™s 1,500m race with a timing of four minutes and 43.37 seconds. Phulmati Rana of APF (4:53.96) and TACâ€™s Laxmi Pandey (4:56.28) came second and third respectively. â€œWinning the goal medal in my second attempt is a big achievement for me,â€ said Bhattarai, who finished fourth during the sixth National Games.
Likewise, Surya Khatri of TAC won the menâ€™s high jump gold medal with a jump of 1.82m, while Arun Rai of Central came second in 1.79m and Gopal Chaudhary of NPC was third in 1.75m jump. NPCâ€™s Keshari Chaudhary (1.54m), APFâ€™s Shila Chaudhary (1.53m) and Prabha Chaudhary of TAC (1.44m) claimed top three spots in womenâ€™s section.
APF defend womenâ€™s football title
APF defeated NPC 4-2 in penalty shootout to win the womenâ€™s football tournament title at the Duhabi Stadium on Saturday. The winners of the match was decided on spot kicks after both the teams settled for a goalless draw.
Laxmi Kumari Paudel, Manju Dong, Anita KC and Srijana Chemjog converted their penalties for APF, while Tara Thinâ€™s shot went wide. Similarly, Dhim Kumari Gurung and Srijana Khadka were the scorers for NPC, while Alija Shah hit wide and Amrita Jaisi was denied by APF goalie Rupa Rana Magar, who was also named the player-of-the-final.
NPCâ€™s Niru Thapa became highest goal scorer with five goals. Meanwhile, TAC defeated Central 2-1 to claim bronze medal.
Centralâ€™s Kiran Gajel (55kg), Indra Bahadur Shrestha (66kg), Mohan Sunuwar (81kg) and Rabin Shrestha (100kg) and TACâ€™s Subodh Mandal (45kg) won gold medals in menâ€™s judo events in Jhapa. NPCâ€™s Sarita Chaudhary (48kg), TACâ€™s Manita Shrestha (57kg), Centralâ€™s Sunita Magar (60kg) and Sunita Bohara (78kg) of Far-western won womenâ€™s gold medals. Similarly, TACâ€™s Nishma Basnyat bagged gold in womenâ€™s 41-45kg event of ITF taekwondo defeating Rita Adhikari of Western.
TAC and NPC recorded wins in the menâ€™s cricket tournament at Baijnathpur grounds. TAC defeated Far-western by 87 runs. Batting first, TAC put 209-3 in 20 overs and restricted Far-western to 122-5.
Similarly, NPC beat Western by 17 runs. NPC scored 145-5 and Western managed 129-8. In womenâ€™s cricket, Mid-western beat Western by two wickets. Batting first, Western were bowled out for 72 before Mid-western reached 73-2 in 18 overs.
Western and Central recorded wins in the menâ€™s football tournament at the ANFA Technical Centre grounds in Dharan. Western thrashed NPC 3-0 riding on a brace from Anil Gurung and a goal from Bimal Gharti Magar.
In another match, Dinesh Henjan scored the solitary goal as Central defeated Eastern 1-0.
Hat-trick for Bastola
Nepal APF Clubâ€™s karateka Parshuram Bastola completed hat-trick of gold medals after he finished first in the individual kata at Shahid Maidan Stadium in Biratnagar. Bastola had also won gold medals in the fifth National Games held in Kathmandu and sixth edition in Far-western Region.
Bastola defeated TACâ€™s Damber Bahadur Ale Magar to complete the hat-trick. NPCâ€™s Nirmala Tamang saw off Apsara Moktan to win the womenâ€™s individual kata. APF won the menâ€™s team event kata gold finishing ahead of TAC.
Poor track, unfit volleyball court
The athletics track at the Itahari Stadium is not suitable to hold the national games. Athletes have found it hard in completing their races and meet their target.
TACâ€™s Hari Rimal said the track was not suitable for the competition. â€œActually it could be only used for training and nowhere in the world competitions are organised at such tracks,â€ he added.
The menâ€™s 100m sprint winner Yam Sajan Sunar of Mid-western Region said he could have bettered his previous record if he had got the chance of competing in proper track. Similarly, womenâ€™s 100m event winner Krishna Chaudhary of TAC said the track made all the difference in timing of the players.
Likewise, the volleyball court at the same venue is also not properly built and that has raised fear of injuries among the players. Mid-westernâ€™s women volleyball team coach Bhim Bahadur Dangi said the organisers could have prepared better courts as the games were delayed by almost two years.
â€œThe volleyball court is not suitable to play the matches it has uneven surface. The organisers constructed the venue in a hurry and there are high chances of players being hurt. The results might be affected due to the poor venue,â€ he said.
By Sanjeev Kumar Shah