LONDON, Aug 4: Nepali athlete Pramila Rijal, who ran the 100m sprint in London 2012 despite severe back pain, managed to complete the sprint but failed even to match her personal best timing.
Rijal clocked 13.33 seconds on Friday. Her personal best is 12.60 seconds clocked in the South Asian Games Selection in 2009.
Devi Maya Paneru holds the national record of 12.19 seconds, set in 1999 during the South Asian Games in Kathmandu.
Pramila (in green) in the event. (Photo: Ajay Phuyal)
Rijal decided to take part in the race although doctors had told her that she needed at least six-month rest. "I was not in a state to run but I could not resist the temptation of becoming an Olympian," said Rijal. "I had hoped to set a new national record on the biggest stage of world sports but I was unlucky," she added.
However, Rijal was happy that she would henceforth be known as an Olympian. Ranjit Baral, doctor with the Nepali team, said that Rijal proved to be a brave athlete as she completed the 100m sprint despite severe pain.
American athlete Florence Griffith Joyner has world record of 10.49 seconds and Olympics record of 10.62 seconds in her name.
Tharu to sprint Saturday
Nepali athlete Tilak Ram Tharu will participate in the preliminary heat of the 100m sprint on Saturday in the London Olympics.
Among the five Nepali participants, only Tharu´s is the last participation in the London 2012.
Like other Nepali players, Tharu has an aim of setting a new national record in London. "I can´t expect anything more than that at this stage," said Tharu. "Participating in the 100m sprint is in itself an achievement for me since Usain Bolt is participating in the same event," he added.
Tharu has a personal best timing of 10.80 seconds in 100m sprint while Ram Krishna Chaudhary owns national record of 10.71 seconds, which he set during the South Asian Games in 1999.
Jamaican athlete Usain Bolt holds world record (9.58 seconds) and Olympics record (9.69 seconds).