KATHMANDU: Palesha Goverdan missed out on a historic medal in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games on Friday. Palesha went down fighting by 12-9 to Yuji Li of China in the bronze medal match. Palesha was on the verge of winning the first-ever Olympic medal in the history of Nepali sports.
Palesha, who competed in the women’s K44 category in the 58 kg weight category, lost to Beth Munro of Great Britain in the first match of the competition. After losing 21-8, Palesha’s chances of winning a gold medal were dashed.
In the repechage, Palesha defeated American Brianna Salinaro in the quarterfinals. She advanced to the semifinals after beating American Salinaro 10-0. This was the first time that any Nepali athlete had won the Olympics.
Palesha defeated Marija Misev of Serbia in the semifinals to secure a place in the medal bout. Although Misev drew 4-4 in the first round, Palesha won 23-15 overall with a score of 7-2 in the second and 12-9 in the third. This victory ensured her tie Li.
In the first round of the bronze medal tie, Palesha took a 4-2 lead in the first round against Li. In the second round, Lee won 5-0 and took an overall lead of 7-4. In the third round, Lee won the bronze medal with an overall victory of 12-9, even though the game stood 9-9 with just few seconds to go.
A six-member team including Palesha coach Kaviraj Lama had reached Japan on September 19. Palesha had earlier participated in the Asian Championships, Bronze, and World Championships. She was ruled out of the Paralympics due to a corona infection that prevented her from flying internationally. But after his name was mentioned in the wild card, his journey was decided.