Kathmandu, January 24
A 20-member women’s national volleyball team is on Wednesday leaving for the Maldives to take part in the 2018 FIVB Women’s World Volleyball Championship Qualification Tournament for the AVC Central Zone that will take place from January 27-29 in Male.
The 12 member-squad comprises skipper Binita Budhathoki, vice-captain Manju Gurung, Saraswati Chaudhary, Nebika Chaudhary, Reshma Bhandari, Usha Kumari Bista, Aruna Shahi, Pratibha Mali, Kripa Adhikari, Kopila Upreti, Kamala Pun and Manisha Chaudhary. Head coach Sudesh Kumar Rimal, assistant coach Salina Shrestha, team manager Junu Pun Magar, official Jyoti KC, referee KB Rana along with Nepal Volleyball Association President Manoranjan Raman Sharma, National Sports Council Member Upendra Yadav and Western Regional Volleyball Association President Chhyam Bahadur Thapa will accompany the players to Male.
Nepal, hosts Maldives and Iran will take part in the competition and the top team will make it to the next round of the qualification to be held next year. The finals will be hosted by Japan in 2018.
Meanwhile, NSC Member Secretary Keshab Kumar Bista, NVA President Sharma, General Secretary Jitendra Chand among others bade farewell to the team during programme here today. Bista said the nation had a big expectation from the team. “The event is a platform where players will be able to showcase their talents. The competition will also be helpful for the 13th South Asian Games to be hosted by Nepal two years later,” said Bista.
Chand hoped Nepal would be able to win the competition and make it to the next round. “We have already defeated the Maldives and we are also capable of winning against Iran,” said Chand. “We were not aware of the competition. That’s why we had a two-week preparation. As all the players were in action off late, I hope the team will put in full efforts in the competition,” said Chand.
A version of this article appears in print on January 25, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.