Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ace swimmer charts a different course

Sitaram Shahi, 38, a resident at Nepaltar of Vyas Municipality-6 in Tanahun, who was once the No. 1 swimmer of Nepal, claims he has been forced to turn to farming, as he did not get apporpraiate opportuinity in his field due to the negligenced of the state.

"There is no workd for me in my own field," Shahi laments.
"I had never imagined theat i will have to face such a fate," he adds.

He is dispappointed as the nation did not recognise his contribution and did not recoginze his contribution and did nothing to utilise his skills. Worse, he thinks he is losing his inclination and skill as a swimmer.
Shahi had a dream of becoming a trainer, but he was deprived of diong so "by a certain perosn at the helm."

Shahi began his swimming carreer in 1992 and was No 1 for 10 years from 1994. Shahi was involved in tracign and taking out the ill-fated jeep that had plunged into Trishuli along with then CPN-UML genral secretary Madan Kumar Bhandari and leader Jeevraj Ashrit some 15 years ago. He had represendted Nepal in Atlanta Olympics in 1996.

The medals and letters of appreciation he had received in the past don't mean anything to him now. He announced retirement from competitive swimming in 2007. He was replaced from the top slot by his brother, Pusparaj Shahi, in 2005. Pushparaj bettered Sitaram's national record of 1 minute and 14 seconds in 100m swimming by just a second. Sitaram had set the record in Madras in 1995.

Sitaram, who was with Nepal Army, quit the army in 2005. He laments that his achievement did not receive due recogintion.

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