Sudurpaschim emerges as new sports power

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By A Staff Reporter,Kathmandu, Apr. 20: Sudurpaschim Province has emerged as a sports powerhouse by lifting the President Running Shield, Nepal’s biggest sports event for junior boys and girls, for the first time.

When the 14th edition of the school-level event concluded on Thursday, Sudurpaschim topped the medal tally by winning 49 medals including 19 gold.

Emerging athletes and players from the province bagged 49 of 230 medals in six different sporting events – athletics, volleyball, kabaddi, wushu, taekwondo and karate – beating the six other provinces. It won 19 gold, 12 silver and 18 bronze medals. The National Sports Council organised the event. 

A total of 686 athletes representing seven provinces competed for 66 gold medals, 66 silver medals and 98 bronze medals.

Each province was represented by 98 athletes who were selected out of 612,151 students from 151,150 schools who competed in the local-level selection at 635 out of 753 local levels. After the local-level selection, the selected students competed in the district and provincial-level selections before being selected to represent the respective province. 

Records broken

Ashish Mahar of Sudurpaschim broke a 36-year-old record in the junior boys´ triple jump and set a new record by jumping 14.19 metres. He broke the record of 14.06 metres set by Dhanbir Chaudhary in 1987. Moreover, Dhanbir, who was in the venue when his record was broken, awarded Mahar with some cash for the feat.

Likewise, Devaki Kumari Chaudhary of Sudurpaschim Province broke the national record in the 3,000-metre-race in the junior girls´ category. She completed the race in 10 minutes 52.82 seconds. 

In another record broken, Bhawana Farsal, Sarita Khadka, Himali Shahi and Krishna Rana of Karnali set a new national record at a 4 x 400-metre rally race in the junior girls´ category. The team completed the race in 4 minutes 17.2 seconds. Karnali’s Sarita Khadka was the one who set a new national girls’ record in the 800-metre race by completing it in 2 minutes 28.5 seconds.

Similarly, Ganesh BK of Gandaki broke the record in the high jump. He jumped 1.81-metre high and set a new record for Nepal.

Other provinces 

Prioritising the gold medals won, Bagmati finished second in the 14th President Running Shield with 45 medals (17 gold, 13 silver and 15 bronze). 

Karnali Province, the only province whose athletes marched past in the inauguration of the tournament with traditional attire and high motivation, finished its campaign in the third position. The province won 31 medals (10 gold, 5 silver, 16 bronze).

Koshi secured the fourth position. Koshi’s junior players won 26 medals (8 gold, 9 silver, 9 bronze). 

Champions of the past three editions of the tournament, Lumbini finished fifth this edition with 35 medals (6 gold,  11 silver, 18 bronze) while Gandaki finished sixth with 26 medals (3 gold, 10 silver, 13 bronze). 

Madhes Province, with 18 medals, was the bottom province in the medal tally. Madhes’ players won three gold, six silver and nine bronze medals.

Best in six sports

Sudurpaschim players won gold in the two events of kabaddi for boys and girls. Meanwhile, Lumbini and Bagmati won a gold medal each in volleyball.

Sudurpaschim was at the top of the medal tally for athletics. Of the 26 gold, Sudurpaschim and Karnali’s athletes bagged seven gold each. However, Sudurpaschim (23 medals) finished at the top with more medals than Karnali (14 medals) in total.

Nevertheless, Bagmati showed its dominance in the three martial arts events – karate, wushu and taekwondo. Bagmati’s emerging martial artists bagged five gold medals in wushu and four gold each in karate and taekwondo. Martial artists competed for 12 gold, 12 silver and 18 bronze medals each in the three events.

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