Nepal’s Gaurika Singh possibly the youngest competitor at Rio Olympics: British journalist

Gaurika Singh
Gaurika Singh

31 July 2016: An award-winning sports writer from England has said Nepal’s Gaurika Singh could be the youngest competitor at the Rio Olympics.

She is only 13 years of age but already an international swimming sensation.

An email from Ian Chadband to Nilendra Raj Shrestha, the convenor of Nepal’s Olympics Preparation Committee, reveals that Ms Singh could be the youngest among the 10,000 plus participants of the mega event which is scheduled to kick off on August 5.

“I’m very keen, if possible, to talk to your young swimmer Gaurika Singh, because we believe that she could be the youngest competitor to take part in the Rio Games,” the former Sports Chief Correspondent at The Daily Telegraph wrote.

According to a social media post made by Mr Shrestha, Mr Chadband is part of the Olympic News Service that feeds information to “accredited media, athletes and Games personnel”. Coming from a seasoned sports journalist who is also associated with the Olympic Games in official capacity, it is most likely that Ms Singh is indeed the youngest Olympian of 2016.

Gaurika Singh is the daughter of a London-based medical doctor from Nepal, Paras Singh, who is due to accompany his daughter to Rio. She has been preparing for the Rio Olympics at the Barnett Copthall Swimming Club in north west London. Her coach Rhys Gormley has been training her at the prestigious swimming club for 100 backstroke.

Mr Gormley recently asserted that she was actually “capable” of representing Great Britain itself except that she had a Nepalese passport. She improved so much over the past one and half years that the standard seven school student had to be moved into the senior group due to her ‘work rate’, Mr Gormley told a Nepalese newspaper last week.

Gaurika Singh won one silver and three bronze medals during the 2016 South Asian Games held in Guwahati, India and has broken all national level swimming records the Himalayan nation had held so far.

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