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Emerging talent in taekwondo

2021 Dec 10, 15:13, Kathmandu

It has been a while since Nepal started participating in the Olympics. It was in 1964 when Nepal first participated in the 'Summer Olympics' and the 'Winter Olympics' in 2002. However, Nepal has yet to bag a medal in the Olympics.

Bidhan Lama, a Nepali taekwondo player, won a bronze medal at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. However, the medal won by Bidhan Lama was not officially recognized, and was included as a performance sport and not as a competition.

In 1986 in Seoul, four Nepali taekwondo players and four boxing players won bronze medals. Nepal, which has been participating in the Asian Games since 1951, had won medals for the first time in such an important sports competition. Similarly, Savita Raj Bhandari, a Nepali taekwondo player, won a silver medal for the first time at the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok, Thailand. Nepal has won bronze medals in various Asian Games. However, the gold medal is yet to be won.

For the first time, Nepal has won a gold medal in Taekwondo at the Asian-level sports competition. Nepali taekwondo player Palesha Gobardhan has won a gold medal for the first time in the Para Asian Youth Games for athletes with various physical disabilities. Palesha Gobardhan won a gold medal in the under 57 kg weight category in Manama, Bahrain. She defeated Ibrahimi Roja of Iran 6-0 to win the gold. More than a thousand para players from 44 countries participated in the Para Asian Youth Games. Two other Nepali taekwondo players also won medals in the same sport. Sirjana Ghising won silver in the under 52 kg weight category and Vishal Garbuja won bronze in the under 58 kg weight category.

Nepali taekwondo player Palesha Gobardhan had an excellent performance in the Para Olympics recently held in Japan. While she won to players from the United States and Serbia in the tournament but she was defeated by a Chinese player. So far, she has been able to perform the best among the Nepali athletes who have participated in the Olympics. Due to this, she was honored by various organizations. Her excellent performances in Baraharan after the Olympics show that she is still optimistic. In an interview with NepalNews, she said that her goal now is to win a seat in the Asian Games to be held in China in October next year. She also aims to win a medal at the 2024 Olympics in France.

National coach Kaviraj Negi Lama, who has been coaching Palesha since 2016, said that she has a lot of potential as she is a strong and intelligent player. Coach Lama informed that physically able players and disabled players are discriminated against in Nepal. Before going to Tokyo Olympics, other Nepali athletes were kept in 5-star hotels while Para Olympic athletes were staying in ordinary ones. They were not even given any kind of allowances either.

Coach Negi Lama said that the 15 para players who he has trained, can now achieve excellent results in international competitions.

Player Palesha is promoting the game along with its training. She is currently studying science in class 12. Her goal is to become an architect in the future.


Summer Olympics Winter Olympics Seoul South Korea taekwondo player Savita Raj Bhandari Palesha Gobardhan
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