27 November 2010

Asian Games wrap

Now that I have your attention, a few quick hitters on the Asian Games:
  • Amazing opening and closing ceremonies.
  • China's dominance must be really deflating to the other competitive nations. You're basically playing for a silver medal in 50% of the events.
  • Maybe adding Australia to the Asian Games will help make things more competitive.
  • While Nepal's overall performance was disastrous, we need to salute the many athletes who achieved national records and personal bests.
  • Defeating a Thai Boxer is impressive.
  • Lots of reasons for Nepal's feeble performance, the greatest being a lack of knowledge or curiosity about sports development amongst our sports leaders.
  • Calling Nepal a Martial Arts nation is like calling Hungary a football nation.
  • What made Nepal's performance in the Martial Arts so pathetic was that Pakistan, India and Afghanistan all were able to garner at least a  Silver Medal.
  • Nepali Cricket choking act continues.
  • Media coverage by the Nepali press was quite good. Ajay Phuyal was on fire.

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.