Shuttlers to go to Colombo today

KATHMANDU: An eight-member Nepali badminton team is leaving for Colombo to take part in the Badminton Asia Youth Under-16 Team and Individual Events slated for August 3-9 in Colombo.

Bilal Waris and Mohd Irfan Ansari of Nepalgunj, Anup Gurung of Pokhara and Dipesh Dhami of Kanchanpur are the four players, who will take part in the singles, doubles and team events in the championship.

Bilal will team up with Anup, while Irfan will team up with Dipesh in doubles event, informed Ramji Bahadur Shrestha, Secretary General of the Nepal Badminton Association (NBA).

For all the players it will be their first the international exposure. Megh Raj Kathayat is the coach, while Anoj Basnet and Krishna Sundar Bista are the team leader and manager. Ajay Hamal of the Nepal Sports Journalists Forum is also accompanying the team.

“We had invited players from districts and regions for selection and picked up the best four for the event,” Shrestha added. The selected players were kept under closed camp for two weeks. “We are not expecting medals but we certainly like them to at least qualify for the quarter-finals,” he said.

This is the third time Nepal are taking part in the championship. Nepal first participated in 1997 in Philippines. In 2006, Nepal hosted the event and the qualified for the final round in team event.

Bidding farewell to the team, the NBA President Prakash Bahadur Shahi said the association was focusing on junior level.