KATHMANDU, Sept 21: Nepal´s first Olympian Bhupendra Silwal passed away during the course of treatment at Army Hospital, Chhauni on Thursday night. He was 78.
Silwal had been recently admitted to the hospital for treatment of stomach tumor and was suffering from multiple ailments, including high blood pressure and asthma.
His body has been kept on the National Sports Council premises for people to pay their last homage, Nilendra Raj Shrestha, chairman of Nepal Athletics Association, informed.
Sushil Ghimire, secretary at the sports ministry, draped Silwal´s body with national flag. A large number of sports personalities and officials, and Olympians paid their last tribute.
A permanent resident of Mahadev danda, Godavari, Lalitpur, Silwal represented Nepal in the country´s first appearance in Olympic Games in Tokyo in 1964.
Six years earlier in 1958, he had participated in Asian Games in the same Japanese city, where he ran the marathon race barefoot.
Just some time ago, Silwal had visited the United Kingdom as a spectator of the London Olympics 2012.
Meanwhile, his body has been taken to Pashupati Aryaghat for cremation. Silwal leaves behind wife and a son. His youngest son has already died.
Late Silwal (C) is seen along with Dhruba Bahadur Pradhan, president of Nepal Olympic Committee, and journalist Suman Kharel at a farewell program organized by NSJF prior to flying to London Olympics.Photo:Republica