Saun, Shrestha claim singles titlesTop seeds Deep Saun and Nabita Shrestha of Nepal Police Club (NPC) claimed the 37th National Table Tennis Championships title on Wednesday.
It was back-to-back title triumph for the NPC duo fresh from winning the first Kala Bohora Memorial Open Table Tennis Championships, the highest cash prize TT tournament of the country, just over a month ago in Kathmandu.
In the final match held at the Shahid Stadium covered hall, Saun defeated Purushottam Bajracharya of Nepal Armed Police Force (APF) Club 11-9, 3-11, 11-4, 12-10, 2-11, 15-13. It was Saun’s second national title of his career. His first national title came in the 2012 National Games in Far-western Region where he also beat Bajracharya in final.
In the title deciding sixth set, Saun had failed to take the game point thrice before succeeding in his fourth attempt. Earlier in the semi-finals, also played on Wednesday, Saun had toppled three-time national champion Shiva Sundar Gothe 4-1 and Bajracharya sidelined Amar Lal Malla of NPC 4-2.
Shrestha, meanwhile, had the easiest passage to the title cruising past clubmate Alina Maharjan in straight sets 11-4, 11-6, 12-10, 11-4. It was Shrestha fifth consecutive national title. Shrestha has not lost the Nationals after opening the account with the 33rd National Championships five years back at the same venue.
Shrestha is now just three titles away from equalling Sijarin Shah’s record of winning maximum National Tournament titles. Aman Chitrakar had won the men’s Nationals six times. The winners in both the men’s and women’s singles categories pocketed a cash purse of Rs 21,000 each.
Saun completed his campaign with three gold medals after he combined with Malla to beat APF pair of Gothe and Chandan Shahi 11-4, 12-10, 8-11, 11-9 to win the men’s doubles. Saun had also won the mixed doubles final, partnering Swechhya Nembang.
Krishna Thapa Magar of Tribhuvan Army Club and Dikshya Tamang of Lalitpur won the junior boys’ and girls’ singles title respectively. APF (men’s) and NPC (women’s) won the team events gold, while Rabina Maharjan and Nembang of NPC took the women’s doubles title. Kapur Sharma of Kathmandu won the men’s veterans singles.
A total of 250 players from three departmental sides and 26 district teams had participated in the tournament organised jointly by the All Nepal Table Tennis Association and its Morang unit. Biratnagar successfully hosted its third national tournament after holding the event in 1975 and 2011.