KATHMANDU, July 21: Nepal Olympic Committee (NOC), recognized by International Olympic Committee, appointed Ganga Bahadur Thapa as the chef de mission of the Nepali squad for the London Olympics 2012.
The NOC bade farewell to the Nepali team members on Friday and declared Thapa as the chef de mission.
"As National Sports Council Member Secretary Yubaraj Lama turned down our proposal to lead the Nepali team, NOC meeting this morning (on Friday) declared our Vice President Thapa as the new chef de mission," said Dhruba Bahadur Pradhan, the president of the NOC.
Earlier, NOC had announced Lama as the chef-de-mission of the Nepali squad but he not only refused to take the charge but also recommended government to dissolve the NOC.
NSC board meeting chaired by Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai on July 8 had recommended Council of Ministers to dissolve both the NOC bodies in existence.
Two different NOCs -- one led by Pradhan and other by Rukma Samsher Rana -- have been staking their claims for a few years and the Supreme Court had decided in November 2010 to recognize the organization led by Rana. However, International Olympic Committee (IOC) has been reiterating that there is only one NOC recognized by the IOC and that is non other than the one led by Pradhan.
Chef de mission Thapa, shooter Sneha Rana and her coach Dhruba Bikram Shah will fly to London on Saturday.
Sprinters Tilak Ram Tharu and Pramila Rijal as well as swimmers Prasiddha Jung Shah and Shreya Dhital have been training in Kent, UK since the last month for the London 2012. Athletics coach Tika Sedhain and swimming coach Wangden Lama have accompanied the athletes.
Other NOC officials are set to fly to London on Wednesday.
Shah to hoist Nepali flag
According to the NOC President Pradhan, swimmer Shah will hoist Nepali flag in the opening ceremony of the London 2012.
Shah had participated in the Beijing Olympics 2008 as well. Shah will compete in the 50m freestyle event in the London.