PM wrong in saying Bimala Tamang won gold in 2014 Asiad

Sanjog Shiwakoti / February 4, 2021

Prime Minister Oli at an interaction organized in Kathmandu by the National Sports Council on February 2.
Photo: YouTube channel of Reporters Nepal

Speaking at an interaction titled ‘Prime Minister with Sports‘ organized by the National Sports Council in Kathmandu on February 2, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli also talked about Nepal’s participation in the 17th Asian Games held in South Korea in 2014.

The prime minister said, “Once, the government had sent a team to play in South Korea. There was a girl who said she was not included in the [karate] team unfairly and that she would go to South Korea on her own to participate in the games. ‘I can win gold medal but they selected others while excluded me, so I will personally fund the trip,’ she said and she went [to South Korea] and won a gold.”

South Asia Check has fact-checked the prime minister’s statement.

The player the prime minister was referring to is karate player Bimala Tamang. In 2014, a dispute between Nepal’s two karate federations – one recognized by the National Sports Council and the other recognized by the International Karate Federation – had hampered the selection of players for the 17th Asian Games. Amid the confusion, 18-year-old Tamang’s participation was not finalized until the selection deadline. In the end, with financial support from her coach Dhruba Bikram Malla, she flew to Incheon, South Korea to participate in the competition. There her participation was confirmed at the last minute and she won a bronze for Nepal in women’s individual kata event.

Karate player Bimala Tamang.
Photo: Bimala Tamang’s Facebook

And this karate bronze was the only medal for Nepal in the 17th Asian Games although Nepal had fielded 204 athletes in 25 disciplines in the games. Therefore the prime minister was wrong to say she won a gold.

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