Unbeaten Shrestha finishes on top

Kathmandu, September 27

Table tennis players Nabita Shrestha, Raveena Maharjan, Dikshya Tamang, Elina Maharjan and Sikka Suwal finished as top five players respectively to earn berths in the 13th South Asian Games slated for December 1-10 in Kathmandu, Pokhara and Janakpur.

Seven-time national champion Shrestha defeated all nine opponents in the final selection tournament held at the Lainchaur covered hall on Thursday and Friday. She beat Sonu Thapa Magar, Raveena Mahrajan, Dikshya Dahal and Sikka Suwal on the second day to finish the tournament as the only unbeaten player. She had defeated Swechhya Nembang, Selisha Khadgi, Geeta Bhujel, Elina Maharjan and Dikshya Tamang on the first day.

Raveena Maharjan finished second with seven wins and two losses. She beat Sonu Thapa Magar, Elina Maharjan, Dikshya Dahal, Dikshya Tamang, Selisha Khadgi, Geeta Bhujel and Sikka Suwal, while she faced defeats at the hands of Swechhya Nembang and Nabita Shrestha.

Dikshya Tamang came third with six wins and three defeats. She defeated Sonu Thapa Magar, Elina Maharjan, Swechhya Nembang, Dikshya Dahal, Geeta Bhujel and Sikka Suwal, while she lost against Nabita Shrestha, Raveena Maharjan and Selisha Khadgi.

Likewise, Elina Maharjan was fourth with five wins on head-to-head results after she was tied with Sikka Suwal. Elina defeated Dikshya Dahal, Selisha Khadgi, Geeta Bhujel, Sikka Suwal and Swechhya Nembang, while she went down to Sonu Thapa Magar, Nabita Shrestha, Raveena Maharjan and Dikshya Tamang. Sikka registered victories against Geeta Bhujel, Swechhya Nembang, Dikshya Dahal, Selisha Khadgi and Sonu Thapa Magar, while she went down to Nabita Shrestha, Dikshya Tamanag, Elina Maharajan and Raveena Maharjan.

In men’s section, Binesh Khaniya finished as the top player with seven wins and a loss in the absence of three-time national champion and Nepal No 1 player Santoo Shrestha, who could not participate in the selection due to fractured foot after he met with an accident on Wednesday.

Khaniya defeated Pradeep Rokka, Mani Lama, Sunil Maharjan, Purushottam Bajracharya, Krishna Thapa Magar, Samyog Kapali and Shiva Sundar Gothe, while he faced the loss against Chandan Shahi. Purushottam Bajracharya, Shiva Sundar Gothe, Samyog Kapali and Sunil Maharjan earned the remaining four spots for the SA Games. Bajracharya finished second on head-to-head results with Khaniya after he faced the lone defeat at the hands of the top player.

Gothe finished third with five wins after he defeated Pradeep Rokka, Chandan Shahi, Mani Lama, Krishna Thapa Magar and Samyog Kapali. He lost against Sunil Maharjan, Purushottam Bajracharya and Binesh Khaniya. Samyog Kapali was fourth with four each wins and losses. He defeated Pradeep Rokka, Chandan Shahi, Sunil Maharjan and Krishna Thapa Magar.

Likewise, Sunil Maharjan came fifth with four each wins and losses but his place is not safe for the SA Games. Maharjan defeated Pradeep Rokka, Chandan Shahi, Krishna Thapa Magar and Shiva Sundar Gothe, while he faced defeats against Mani Lama, Purushottam Bajracharya, Binesh Khaniya and Samyog Kapali.

The All Nepal Table Tennis Association has decided to give reigning national champion Santoo Shrestha a chance to fight for a place in the SAG.