11 November 2010

Asian Games

The Asian Games take place November 12 to the 27th in Guangzhou, China. This is perhaps the best litmus test for Nepali athletes as the Olympics are too exclusive and the South Asian Games too erratic. In total a 140 Nepali athletes are competing in 20 different sports.

Beyond the martial arts and possibly cricket, winning a medal will be a herculean task for Nepali athletes. Even in the martial arts we are no longer one of the top sides in our own region. Nonetheless it is good to see many of our athletes taking a positive approach to the games, understanding the value of achieving personal bests and not obsessing over medals.

I was at the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok, Thailand and it was both thrilling and enlightening. It was my first time watching Nepali athletes in something other than football. I experienced Nepal's formidable performances in the martial arts including Sabita Rajbhandari's historic silver medal triumph in Taekwondo. On the flip-side, for the first of what would be many times to come, I witnessed the rotten politics/mismanagement of Nepali sports when visiting many of our other teams. In essence the Asian Games bring out the best and worst in Nepali sport. It gives us champions and leaves us with controversies.

Here is a link to the Asian Games official website.