Nepal competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, which was held from 27 July to 12 August 2012. The country's participation at London marked its twelfth appearance in the Summer Olympics since its début at the 1964 Summer Olympics. The delegation included two track and field athletes; Tilak Ram Tharu and Pramila Rijal, one shooter Sneh Rana and two swimmers; Prasiddha Jung Shah and Shreya Dhital; all five competitors qualified for the Games through wildcard places from their respective sporting governing bodies. It was the smallest delegation sent by Nepal since the 1992 Summer Olympics. Shah was selected as the flag bearer for the opening and closing ceremonies. Four of the five athletes were unable to progress beyond the first stages of their respective events while Rana finished 54th in the women's 10 metre air rifle shooting competition.
Nepal participated in twelve Olympic Games between its début at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan and the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England, with the exception of 1968. The highest number of athletes sent by Nepal to an summer Games is sixteen to the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. No Nepalese athlete has ever won a medal at the Summer Olympics. Nepal participated in the Summer Olympics from 27 July to 12 August 2012. The Nepalese National Olympic Committee (NOC) selected two track and field athletes via wildcards. Usually, an NOC would be able to enter up to three qualified athletes in each individual event as long as each athlete met the "A" standard, or one athlete per event if they met the "B" standard. However, since Nepal had no athletes that met either standard, they were allowed to select two athletes, one of each gender, as wildcards.
The five athletes that were selected to compete at the London Games were Tilak Ram Tharu in the men's 100 metres, Pramila Rijal in the women's 100 metres, Sneh Rana in the women's 10 metres air rifle shooting competition, Prasiddha Jung Shah in the men's 50 metres freestyle and Shreya Dhital in the women's 100 metre freestyle. It was the nation's smallest delegation since the 1992 Summer Olympics. Jung Shah was the flag bearer for both the opening and closing ceremonies. Along with the five athletes, the country's delegation by its chef de mission Ganga Bahadur Thapa, secretary general Jeevan Ram Shrestha, the NOC president Dhruba Bahadur Pradhan, and the competitors were coached by Tika Sedain (athletics) and Ongden Iama (swimming). Yuva Raj Lama, the National Sports Council member secretary, withdrew from the delegation because of an disagreement over the selection of athletes and accused the NOC of being unable to maintain transparency over funds to the International Olympic Committee. The team trained in the English county of Kent in a deal announced in July 2011, and were primarily based at Canterbury Christ Church University and The Canterbury Academy.
Tilak Ram Tharu was the sole male competitor in athletics to represent Nepal at the London Olympic Games. He had not participated in any previous Olympic Games. Tharu qualified for the Games by using a wildcard because his fastest time of eleven seconds at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics was 0.76 seconds slower than the "B" qualifying standard for his event, the 100 metres. He said that he did not expect to get the chance to take part in the Olympic Games and set himself the objective of recording a new Nepalese national record. Tharu spent two months training in Nepal alongside his period in Kent. He was drawn in the event's fourth heat in the preliminary round on 4 August, finishing fifth out of eight athletes, with a time of 10.85 seconds. Tharu ranked ahead of Masoud Azizi from Afghanistan (11.19 seconds) and Nooa Takooa of Kiribati (11.53 seconds) but behind Malta's Rachid Chouhal (10.83 seconds) in a heat led by Gérard Kobéané of Burkina Faso (10.42 seconds). Overall he finished 59th out of 75 competitors overall, and did not advance to the later stages because he was 0.23 seconds slower than the slowest athlete in his heat who progressed to the first round. Tharu was unable to achieve his Nepalese national record goal but stated his time improvement was positive although he felt Nepal required better training facilities.
Competing at her first Summer Olympic Games, Pramila Rijal was the oldest person to compete for Nepal at the London Olympic Games at the age of 27. She attained qualification to the Games with the use of a wildcard because she had not set any previous time for her event, the 100 metres. Rijal revealed that she had problems with the starting block but hoped the training in Kent would aid her in setting a new Nepalese national record. She took part in the event's fourth heat on 3 August, finishing sixth out of nine competitors, with a time of 13.33 seconds. The result was attributed to Rajal having back pain in the days before the event and required painkillers to help her cope. She finished in front of Janice Alatoa of Vanuatu (13.60 seconds) and Mihter Wendolin from Micronesia (13.67 seconds) but behind Lidiane Lopes of Cape Verde (12.72 seconds) in a heat led by Papua New Guinea's Toea Wisil (11.60 seconds). Rajal finished 71st out of 78 runners overall,[n 1] and was 1.11 seconds slower than the slowest competitor who advanced to the first round and did not make the later rounds.
|Tilak Ram Tharu||100 m||10.85||5||Did not advance|
|Pramila Rijal||100 m||13.33||6||Did not advance|
Sneh Rana was her nation's sole representative in shooting at the London Games. She was 19 years old at the time and was making her début in the quadrennial event. Rana qualified for the women's 10 metre air rifle contest after receiving a wildcard from shooting's Olympic governing body, the International Shooting Sport Federation, because of a re-allocation of unused quota places. On 28 July she competed in the qualification round of her event. Rana finished 54th out of 56 athletes with a score of 54 points. Rana scored 16 points less than the two equal highest scoring competitors, Sylwia Bogacka of Poland and Yi Siling from China. She scored 14 points less than the four lowest scoring qualifiers for the final and therefore her competition ended at the qualifying round. After the Games Rana said the event was "great exposure" for herself and that it was "an amazing experience".
|Sneh Rana||10 m air rifle||383||54||Did not advance|
Making his second appearance at the Summer Olympics at the age of 23, Jung Shah was notable for carrying the flag of Nepal at the opening and closing ceremonies. He qualified for the Games by receiving a universality place from swimming's world governing body FINA because his fastest time of 27.30 seconds, set at the 2011 World Aquatics Championships, was 4.57 seconds slower than the "B" qualifying standard for the men's 50 metre freestyle. Shah sustained a minor shoulder injury heading during his training sessions going into the event but recovered and stated that he wanted to attempt to improve on his personal best time. He participated in the event's third heat on 2 August, finishing seventh out of eight swimmers, with a time of 26.93 seconds. Shah ranked in front of Hem Thon Ponleu from Cambodia (27.03 seconds) but behind Giordan Harris of the Marshall Islands (26.88 seconds) in a heat led by Micronesia's Kerson Hadley (24.82 seconds). Overall he finished 47th out of 58 competitors overall, and did not advanced into the semi-final because he finished 4.66 seconds slower than the slowest swimmer who made the later stages. Despite setting a new personal best time Shah said he was disappointed with his performance.
Competing in her first Olympic Games, Shreya Dhital was the youngest person to represent Nepal in the quadrennial event at the age of 17. She attained qualification into the Games by gaining a universality place from FINA because her fastest time of one minute and 10.82 seconds was 14.28 seconds slower than the "B" qualifying standard for her event, the 100 metres freestyle. In an interview with The Kathmandu Post before the Games Dhital said that she was confident about achieving a new national Nepalese swimming record. She was drawn in the event's first heat on 1 August, finishing second out of three competitors, with a time of one minute, 10.80 seconds. The swimmer's time was a new national Nepalese record. Dhital ranked ahead of Ayouba Ali Sihame of Comoros (one minute and 14.40 seconds) but behind heat winner Mareme Faye from Senegal (one minute and 6.42 seconds). She finished 47th out of 48 swimmers overall,[n 2] and was unable to progress to the semi-finals after placing 16.37 seconds slower than the slowest athlete who advanced to the later stages. Following the heat's completing Dhital said that the achievement would help her improve her performance in the future.
|Prasiddha Jung Shah||50 m freestyle||26.93||47||Did not advance|
|Shreya Dhital||100 m freestyle||1:10.80||47||Did not advance|