In praise of the performance of the Nepali players in the South Asian Games (SAG) 2010
Nepal was placed fifth with eight gold medals, nine silver medals and 19 bronze medals. This was not a brilliant performance by Nepal, but nevertheless, it was a more than brilliant performance from the athletes – everybody of them, the winners of the medals and others.
I am saying this because throughout my career as sports journalist I have always felt that the athletes are into the game for just one thing: the passion. Whatever they perform is more of their individual commitment and dedication as the country, I understand why, has not done many things to help groom their talents.
And, we know well the officials. This SAG, the officials did not perform well to ensure that the Bangladeshi organizers got the right national anthem to play [they played wrong anthem repeatedly]; some of the officials played war-of-words in the arena [in kabbadi] and many of them probably learnt how the game, they were official for, is played!
Nepal’s sport is as usual – sadly not much improvement in the past decade!
But most of the athletes are different! They play for their passion and pride of the nation despite knowing that they are offered peanuts. The country is not able to provide them more facilities or life-living options; but we have also failed to provide them what we could have easily done – the morale boosting moral support.
This SAG, there were a few beyond average performances that showed the talent and passion of the players.
Debu Thapa, the judo player, had the heart to compete and win a bronze despite being in a hospital after a lift accident at hotel.
Rajendra Bhandari, the Nepal Army runner who was banned for two years after testing positive for performance boosting medicine use in 2007, returned with a bang – in different category: the marathon [earlier he was running 3000m and 5000m] and won the gold.
Deepak Bista, the taekwondo icon who is already in the history book qualifying for the Olympics and winning three SAG gold medals, had passion and zeal enough to win fourth gold with a weakened knee.
Aren’t they lionhearted athletes? Of course, they are. [And, when they were winning I was remembering how disappointed Deepak was when the government terminated his temporary appointment at National Sports Council a couple of years ago / and how harshly the officials and how emotionally Rajendra reacted to his drug test results!]
Salute to them and all other athletes of the country!