JAKARTA (Reuters) - Nepal’s Bishwarupa Budha is refusing to let her last minute exclusion from the women’s 10,000 meters at the Asian Games diminish her morale, determined instead to shine in the 5,000m, the contingent’s chef de mission said on Sunday.
Budha suffered an embarrassing blow when she was told by race officials that her entry for the 10,000m had been sent too late, and the 23-year-old trudged off the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium track before Saturday’s race had started.
“We are investigating the incident,” Nepal chef de mission Keshab Kumar Bista told Reuters. “I spoke to our Olympic committee last night and we do not think there were any mistakes on our part.
“The form had been filled up properly so we are trying to find out what went wrong.”
Bista, however, was confident there would be no repeat of the incident in Tuesday’s 5,000m and insisted the athlete was not heartbroken.
“I spoke to her last night. She told me: ‘Sir, don’t worry. The 5,000m is my main event so no problems. I am better prepared for that,’” he added.
Nepal won a single bronze medal at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, repeated the feat at Incheon, South Korea four years later, but have yet to open their account at the 18th version of the multi-sport event being hosted by Jakarta and Palembang.
After Budha was excluded, Daria Maslova gave Kyrgyzstan their second gold medal of the Games by winning the 10,000m in 32 minutes, 7.23 seconds, ahead of Bahrain’s Eunice Chumba and China’s Zhang Deshun.
“They told me my entry had come too late,” a confused Budha told reporters after being asked to leave the track. “I do not know who is at fault for this.”
Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; Editing by John O'Brien