28 August 2009

Martial Arts Games disaster

Nepal did miserably at the 1st Asian Martial Arts Games. In arguably our strongest sports we managed a meager bronze medal in Wushu and that was only because there were just three participants in the weight category.

What is most troubling is the fact that our peers Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Bhutan were all able to better our athletes, most of them winning medals in Taekwondo, traditionally Nepal's goldmine in international sport.

At the 8th SAF Games (1999) Nepal won 28 gold medals in Karate and Taekwondo alone. At the 10th SAF Games (2006) the number plummeted to 4 gold medals in the two disciplines. Why the drastic drop-off? I'm not the authority on the issue, but from what I have learned, in 1999 Nepal was the only country in the South Asian region supporting the martial arts disciplines. When martial arts became a part of the SAF Games our regional rivals also started funding the contact sports. They were not only quickly able to catch-up with us, but are now on pace to leave us in the dust.