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Four new faces sneak into national team



Winners of the National Karate Selection Tournament celebrate with officials at the National Sports Council on Thursday.


KATHMANDU: Four new players made their way into the national team from the National Karate Selection Tournament today.

Sunita Maharjan, Diwas Shrestha, Armila DC and Rita Karki will be the new faces in the national team after they won gold medals in their respective weight categories. The selection tournament was held to pick players for the national team and 20 karatekas out of 21 slots from 17 events made it as Ganesh Bahadur Thing won double gold medals. Only gold medal winners were selected for the national team.

South Asian Games gold medallist Ganga Devi Adhikari of National Team thrashed Nirmala Rai of Shito-ryu 8-0 in the women’s above-68kg final, while Sirjana Sapkota of University Team came third.

Rita made it to the national team when she outplayed national team’s Kalpana Basnet 7-1 in the women’s below-68kg final. Sarita Shrestha of University and Goju-ryu’s Anita Tamang came joint third. In the women’s 61kg section, Sunita Maharjan of Nepal Police Club (NPC) — who had defeated National team’s Sapana Malla in the first bout — beat 10th SA Games silver medallist Amrita Shakya of University in final. Bado-ryu’s Jyoti Gurung and Goju-ryu’s Suny Dotel finished joint third.

Likewise, National team’s Mallika Thapa retained her place with a 9-1 win over Manisha Ranabhat of Goju-ryu, while Laxmi Ale of Shotokan and Niru Duwal of University came third. Armila DC of Shito-ryu won the women’s 45kg gold defeating NPC’s Nirmala Tamang on superior fighting after both the players were tied on six points. Saru Lama of Goju-ryu and Laxmi Gurung of University finished third. Anu Adhikari of National Team won the 50kg section gold medal.

In the men’s section, National Team’s Digambar Prasad Panta won the above-84kg gold beating Tribhuvan Army Club’s (TAC) Sita Ram BK 23-15, while Lal Bahadur Rana of University and Raj Kumar Nagarkoti of Bado-ryu came third. Also, Mukunda Maharjan of National Team thrashed Sagar Shahi of National team ‘C’ 9-0 in the men’s 67kg final. Ganga Kusuwar of NPC and TAC’s Govinda Bishankhe came third.

In the 75kg section, Diwas Shrestha of Shito-ryu defeated Bir Bahadur Raneni of Nepal APF Club 10-2, while Pradeep Jung Thapa of Goju-ryu and Sojan Shrestha of University finished third. Also, Milan Nepal of University made it to the national team after beating Nepal APF Club’s Shekhar Thapaliya 8-0 in the 60kg final. Mohan Karki of National Team ‘B’ came third. National Team’s Binod Maharjan opted out of the selection to pursue his studies in Mauritius.

In the 55kg section, SA Games gold medallist Sunil Lama of National Team beat Rabindra Dahal of National T ‘B’, while Rabindra Karki of NPC and Mani Kumar Sunuwar of TAC ended up third. Likewise, Bhim Bahadur Tamang (below-84kg) and Bijay Lama (50kg), both of National Team, also won gold medals to retain their place.

On Wednesday, NPC’s Ganesh Bahadur Thing won men’s singles kata and teamed up with Mandekaji Shrestha and Kedar Simkhada to claim the team kata gold. In the women’s section, NPC’s Chanchala Danuwar bagged singles kata, while NPC team of Subhadra Shrestha, Sangita Dangol and Suman Lama won the team kata gold.

A total of 250 players from 12 teams — four official wings of karate Shito-ryu, Goju-ryu, Shotokan and Wado-ryu, National Team, University Team, TAC, NPC, APF and the second and third-placed players from sixth National Games — took part in the tournament.

Youth and Sports Minister Ram Kumar Shrestha, National Sports Council Member Secretary Yubaraj Lama, Nepal Olympic Committee Member Rajiv Shrestha among others handed over the prizes.

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