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Feature: Nepalese take great enthusiasm for Beijing Olympics
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08:34, July 18, 2008

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Bahadur Kamal Adhikari, a stout young man, stood up from the sweaty cushion after hours of morning exercise Thursday preparing for the Beijing Olympics.

"Quite luckily, he got the qualification to contest in Man's Weightlifting 69 kg five days ago," Sunil Lal Joshi, president of the Nepal Olympians Association, told Xinhua.

The 31 years old Adhikari was the champion at the 10th South Asian Games in Sri Lanka in 2006 and is the eighth Nepali athlete to take part in the Beijing Olympics, Joshi said.

Two Nepali athletes for swimming, one each for man's marathon, woman's 100-meter, Taekwondo, Judo, shooting and weightlifting will take part in the games.

"What Nepalese feel proud is that the splendid sports event is going to be held in a friendly neighbor," Joshi said, "It is regarded as our own honor also."

Joshi said Nepal is a sports minnow, with only soccer and cricket gaining ground, while cricket has not been accepted by Olympics.

"We can only support 20 athletes in our national sports team. Their training and living conditions are quite poor that some of them even worried about lack of sports suit and shoes when participating international sports events," Joshi said.

"We don't highly expect to harvest medals. Anyway, most of the athletes in the world can not win Olympic medals, so we cherish the spirit exhibited in the games."

According to Joshi, the country's best Taekwondist has been in South Korea for three months training, two swimmers are now trained in India.

The National Sports Committee even launched Chinese language class. Chinese university teacher there have been teaching around 30 Nepali athletes and coaches for one year.

"We hope this will do help them when they are in Beijing," Joshi said.

Nepal organized a Beijing Olympic 100 day countdown ceremony in Kathmandu on April 30. Out of organizer's surprise, around 15,000 people took part in the rally.

Nepali marathoner Baikuntha Manandhar, who participated the 1976, 1980 and 1984 Olympics, is still holding South Asia's marathon record. "When in August, we will take it like a festival," he told Xinhua.


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