LONDON, Aug 4: Like other Nepali players in the London Olympics, Nepal´s last athlete, Tilak Ram Tharu, also crashed out, from the preliminary heat round of the men´s 100 m sprint on Saturday.
Tharu failed to achieve his target of setting a new national record, but he bettered his own personal best by 0.15 seconds. The 19-year-old finished the distance in 10.85 seconds.
"Had we had long and scientific training we could have done better," Tharu said to Republica after competing in the race. Earlier, Tharu had a best timing of 11 seconds.
Tharu (fourth from right) in the event. (Photo: Ajay Phuyal)
Ram Krishna Chaudhary holds the national record with a timing of 10.71 seconds. Jamaican athlete Usain Bolt holds the world record of 9.58 seconds and the Olympic record of 9.69 seconds.
Despite being unsuccessful in achieving his target of setting a new national record, Thru has taken the improvement in his timing positively. "The improvement in timing with only two months training is positive," he said.
"If we had better training opportunities we could put up a tough fight against other competitors at the Asian level. After competing in the Olympics, I have realized that we are personally not much weaker than athletes from other countries. We are weaker only in infrastructure and scientific training," he further said.
Tharu (second from right) approaches to finishing line. (Photo: Ajay Phuyal)
Tharu was in the fourth round of the heats, finished fifth and secured 13th position overall out of 29 sprinters. Only the top 10 runners qualified for the next round heat. Gerard Kobeane of Burkina Faso clocking 10.42 seconds came first in the preliminary stage heat while Fernando Lumain from Indonesia (10.80 seconds) finished in 10th position.
After training for a month in Nepal, Tharu had arrived in London for special training a month prior to the Olympics. According to him, he could train for hardly two weeks in London due to bad weather. "We need to train all year round. But we could not train properly for one and half months," Tharu said adding, "I had a perfect start today but could not make a good finish. I am, however, satisfied with my improvement."
Athletics coach Tika Sedai also expressed satisfaction with Tharu´s performance. "There had been weaknesses in the finishing. But we should feel satisfied with his performance on the basis of the training."
Tharu meets Usain Bolt
Nepali athlete Tilak Ram Tharu practiced along with 100 m world record holder sprinter Usain Bolt of Jamaica on Friday. According to Tharu, Bolt is his ideal athlete. "After meeting Bolt on Friday, I requested him for a photo-op and he heartily accepted," Tharu said.
"Bolt wished me best of luck," said Tharu. "I am very happy to have competed with him." According to Tharu, the Olympics has been a good platform to learn for the future.
"I concentrated on Bolt´s training style and warm-up," Tharu said, "He does many things similar to ours, but that needs a lot of facilities."