KATHMANDU, May 25: The 18th International Karate and Kick Boxing Tournament kicked off in Kathmandu on Friday. The inaugural match was held between host Nepal´s players.
In the junior boys´ 25 kg category, Prashant Yadav, Bishal Rai, Jorkha Chalise and Diwas Nagarkoti advanced into the semifinals.
Likewise, Prabin Manandhar, Simon Rijal, Bikash Moktan and Pradip Tamang made it to the last four in the junior boys´ kata held at the National Table Tennis Training Centre, Lainchaur.
Dennis Hachhetu and Saroj Lama won their respective matches in the junior boys´ 20 kg category while NIrmala Tamang and Shanta Shrestha emerged victorious in junior girls´ individual kata.
In the senior girls´ individual kata, Alisha Tamang and Sarita Shrestha won their respective matches.
According to Ishwar Thapa of the organizing committee, players from Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Austria are competing in the four-day event being organized by the High School Central Committee of Nepal Sito Ryu Karate Do Association.
Nepal has the highest number of participants, with 575 players competing for 27 golds in karate and 13 in kick boxing, followed by India (425) and Bangladesh (18). Sri Lanka has six players. According to Thapa, eight players from Pakistan and three from Austria will arrive in the capital on Saturday.
National Sports Council (NSC) Member Secretary Yubaraj Lama inaugurated the tournament.
Lama said this kind of school level tournament is very important for the development of karate. He also urged the organizers to give continuity to the event. “Besides the international events, there is also a need for carrying out such junior tournaments in all the 75 districts,” said Lama.
Lama said NSC shifting its focus on school and college level tournaments to create a strong base and develop sports from the grass-roots level.