Unbeaten Shrestha in race for People’s Choice Award

Kathmandu, July 14

Nabita Shrestha has not tasted defeat in domestic front for the last five years. She has been enjoying the No 1 status in women’s table tennis since 2011 after Gita Thapa retired from the sport.

Shrestha began the sporting career from football and also tried her hands in taekwondo, cricket and badminton before switching to table tennis. The year 2072 was phenomenal for Shrestha in terms of success in national and international events.

After winning the national championship for the fifth straight time for a total tally of eight women’s singles titles, Shrestha teamed up with her sister-in-law Elina Maharjan to bag bronze medal in the 12th South Asian Games in India.

Shrestha also shined in the World Team Table Tennis Championship in Kuala Lumpur. She not only led the team to 68th position in the world ranking, but also won key matches in Kuala Lumpur.She won a total of six matches, including victories against Estonia, Pakistan, Congo and Algeria. Nepal were at the 86th position before entering the tournament.

In the World Table Tennis Championship held in China, Shrestha earned the reputation of beating players from Venezuela and Pakistan, while she made it to the knock out round n the 28th Universiad Games in South Korea.She took a huge stride in individual section as well, finishing the year at 423rd in world ranking.

Shrestha stole the limelight last year and that earned her the nomination in People’s Choice Award under the Pulsar Sports Award 2072. The unbeaten table tennis queen, Shrestha is in race with four other athletes — Nawayug Shrestha (football), Tara Devi Pun (weightlifting), Sandeep Lamichhane (cricket) and Pratibha Mali (volleyball).

The winner will be decided by SMS votes and Facebook likes. The organizer of the Pulsar Sports Award, Nepal Sports Journalists Forum has tied up with THT LIVE 33131 for the voting. The winner will receive a Pulsar bike. The Award also features seven others categories — Male, Female, Youth, Coach, Para-Athlete, Special and Lifetime Achievement awards.

The award function is slated for July 21 at the Nepal Academy Hall.

“I am happy to be nominated in the People’s Choice Award,” said the 24-old player from Nepal Police Club, who was previously nominated in the female category. “I was able to stand here only because of the support from my family and coaches,” added Shrestha, who belongs to a table tennis family.

Her husband, Rakesh Maharjan is a coach, while her sisters-in-law Elina, Rabina and Salina Maharjan are players.

Coach Nabin Suwal described Shrestha as a positive player. “She has a positive attitude and the standard of other players is way below which will help Shrestha rule the women’s table tennis in coming years as well,” said Suwal. “Other players will have to work very hard to catch her.”