MY BEST WISHES FOR HIM.
NEW DELHI, JUL 21 -
A 27-year old Nepali youth, Basanta Bahadur Rana , currently serving in the Gorkha Rifles of the Indian Army, is all set to represent India in the upcoming London Olympics. Rana, a native of Sunaul VDC in Nawalparasi district, will take part in the 50-km race-walk event. This is the first time in sports history that any sportsperson from India has been selected for this event in the Olympics.
And Rana’s joys knows no bounds. Though representing India, this young Nepali is keen to make his countrymen proud.
“I always try to make my village and my country proud and I expect best wishes from my countrymen to go in that direction,” he told the Post from a training camp in Bangalore, Karnataka.
According to him, poverty back home sent him to the Indian Army. Rana, a hawaldar at the 3/8 Gorkha Rifles in Sikkim state, was pretty much hooked to the game of race-walk as soon as he joined the army. His formal sports career, however, started in March 2006 when he bagged a bronze medal in his first participation in the event organised within his army unit. Though he started with a 20-km race-walk he was sent for the 50-km race in 2007 by his coach in recognition of his unprecedented stamina and endurance capacity.
Rana then won a gold medal in the Indian Grand Prix in Punjab in 2008 and set a new national record. A few misfortunes also came his way. He tore his hamstring muscles a few days ahead of the Commonwealth Games in 2010, dashing his hope to win a medal there. Again, in 2011, though he performed well in the European Grand Prix in Ireland, he fell short of 51 seconds to qualify for the Olympics.
However, these failures did not stop him from pursuing his Olympics dream. He set a new national record with 4 hours 2 minutes 13 seconds in the World Race-Walking Cup in Saransk, Russia in May 2012 and qualified for the London Olympics. Rana is leaving New Delhi on July 29 and will adapt to London’s weather for a few days before taking part in the event on August 11.