Nepal, for the first time, is participating in a junior world championship.
Two Nepali sportspersons, Judokas Indra Bahadur Shrestha and Manita Pradhan, are participating in the World Junior Judo Championship at Zagreb, Croatia being held from October 14-24, 2017.
Indra Bahadur and Manita Pradhan are representing Nepal in the men’s U-66 kg and women’s U-57 kg weight categories, respectively.
“This is the first time that Nepal is participating in junior world championship,” says Deepak Harsha Bajracharya, President of Nepal Judo Association (NJA).
National Coach Dal Bahadur Gurung and the team manager Babu Raja Maharjan are the other members of the Nepali team.
The Member Secretary of the National Sports Council (NSC) Keshav Kumar Bista offered a farewell to the Nepali contestants at a program in Kathmandu, on October 13, 2017 and have left for Croatia on October 14, 2017.
Elated at the country’s participation, Bajracharya expressed hope that the championship would be a great platform for the Nepali participants for their future. They are currently at the age of 18 years.
“Our players have lots of international exposure and by the time they reach 21 years, which is the prime time of their judo career, we can expect medals from them,” he added.
Bajracharya further informed that the goodwill of NJA has helped the Nepali contestants in getting support from the international judo fraternity in the form of an international judo coach.
“The International Judo Federation (IJF) has appointed a Romanian judo coach Dan Telearca for us for a year. IJF will bear all the cost of his fees and tickets while NJA will pay for the local hospitality and transportation of the coach,” he said.
In a move towards adopting the new digital technology soon, NJA is sending two national experts, Suprasiddha Tamrakar and Rajiv Pradhan, to Indonesia for technical training, informed Bajracharya.
“Digital technology is fast replacing manual trend in officiating matches. So, we are equally concerned in this front. We are not just sending players abroad for exposure but also technical experts and coaches for enhancing their skills,” he said.