Although sports officials created many hurdles in her participation, the first young Olympian from Nepal, Gaurika Singh has proven that she is strong as she shattered three national records on the final day of the NSA Cup Swimming Championship.
Taking part from Tribhuvan Army Club, Singh set new national records in the women’s 100m freestyle, 100m butterfly and 50m freestyle on her way to winning gold medals in all events. Singh had also set new marks in women’s 200m freestyle and 50m butterfly events.
Singh clocked one minute and 0.79 seconds in 100m freestyle heats to better her own mark of 1:1.78 seconds set during the Irish Open Championship held in Dubai last year. However, she took one minute and 2.03 seconds in the finals. Tisha Shakya of Central Region came second in 1:6.22 seconds and Duana Lama of Nepal APF Club was third in 1:11.31.
Singh also improved her previous mark of one minute and 10.94 seconds to set new national record of 1:7.69 in 100m butterfly event. Duana Lama of APF (1:23.07) and Lumana Shakya of Central (1:50.57) finished second and third.
Singh set new mark in 50m freestyle by clocking 28.09 seconds in heats to shatter Sofia Gadegaard Shah’s record of 28.85 seconds set during the 12th South Asian Games held in India.
Singh took 28.50 seconds in finals to win the gold, while Central’s Tisha Shakya (30.63) and Anushiya Tandukar (32.72) won silver and bronze medals. Singh then teamed up with Oshina Bharati, Dilip Thapa Magar and Anubhav Subba to win the 4X100m free style mixed relay gold with the timing of four minutes and 20.52 seconds.
As Singh has improved her performance, Nepal has high hopes pinned on her for the international swimming tournament. Studying in United Kingdom and living in London with her parents, Singh is a daughter of SLC topper Garima Rana and grand-daughter of senior advocate Lok Bhakta Rana.
Suvam Shrestha broke two national records in the men’s 50m and 100m breaststroke events. In 100m, Shrestha took one minute and 11.24 seconds in the final to better his previous timing of one minute and 11.34 seconds set during the 17th FINA World Championship in Hungary last month. Central’s Kiran Karki took one minute and 16.78 seconds and Bedagya Raj Joshi clocked one minute and 20.37 seconds to finish second third.
Shrestha, who had set a new national record in 200m breaststroke, set new national record in 50m breaststroke with the timing of 37.40 seconds in heat to break Kiran Karki’s record of 32.45 seconds set during the 21st National Open Championship last year. However, Shrestha won gold medal in 32.82 seconds, while Central’s Karki (33.81) and Sayed Hamja Shah (35.56) bagged second and third positions respectively.
In other events, TAC’s Anubhav Subba won four gold medals. He won first gold in 200m individual medley by taking 2 minutes and 34.65 seconds, while Central’s Sayed Hamja Shah came second in two minutes and 39.43 seconds and Rupesh Chaudhari of TAC was third in two minutes and 48.52 seconds.
Subba won his second gold in 100m freestyle in one minute and 0.53sec leaving behind Ugyen Sherpa (1:00.82) of Central and Suvam Shrestha (1:01.09) of APF. Subba also came first in 100m backstroke with the timing of one minute and 18.07 seconds, while APF’s Devesh Manandhar (1:21) and TAC’s Rupesh Chaudhari (1:21.19) were second and third.
Subba’s fourth gold medal came in 100m butterfly as he finished the distance in one minute and 6.66 seconds. Central’s Ugyen Sherpa (1:10.53) and Bishma Bahadur Baduwal (1:16.46) of TAC finished second and third respectively. Similarly, Central’s Alexender Shah (26.63 seconds), APF’s Devesh Manandhar (27.25) and TAC’s Anubhav Subba (27.56) claimed top three spots respectively in 50m freestyle.
In women’s events, APF’s Duana Lama (2:54.95), Tenzing Doma Sherpa (3:08.62) and Upasthi Maharjan (3:09.94) came first, second and third respectively in 200m individual medley. Similarly, Sameera Shova Thapa of Western won 100m backstroke gold in one minute and 29.96 seconds, finishing ahead of Central’s Simran Manadhar (1:30.81) and Easern’s Nitisha Basnet (1:42.22).
At the National Swimming Competition, Gaurika Singh shined and Tribhuwan Army Club added a number of gold medals.