Nepal enter semi-final in men, women team eventsNepal will vie against Sri Lanka while India take on arch rival pakistan in the semi-finals of badminton team events in Pokhara
Nepal reaches semis in both men’s and women’s team events in badminton on Sunday, ensuring spots for bronze medals on the opening day of the 13th South Asian Games in Pokhara.
Shuttlers from both the men’s and women’s teams won their respective quarter final matches in identical 3-0 sets against Bhutan and Bangladesh respectively.
In the men’s team event, Ratnajit Tamang beat Bhutan’s Anish Gurung in straight sets 21-6, 21-9. In another match, Dipesh Dhami defeated Nidup Dorje 21-13, 21-14. Teenage prodigy Prince Dahal led a comfortable win against Norbu Dradup 21-12 and 21-5.
“The performance of the entire team was solid. I am also happy with the way I performed. It wasn’t tough,” said 16-year-old Dahal whose side will meet Sri Lanka in the semi-final on Monday. “Sri Lanka are strong opponents. We will give our best.”
In the women’s team event, Nangsal Devi Tamang beat Shalpa Akhtar of Bangladesh in the third set. The competitive match saw Tamang edge Akhtar 21-18, 15-21, 21-17.
Similarly, Rashila Maharjan emerged victorious by defeating Bangladeshi shuttler Alina Sultan in a tight two-set match 28-26 and 21-19. In the third match, Jesika Gurung beat Bistri Khatun of Bangladesh 21-19 and 22-20 to book a spot in the semis.
Talking briefly to reporters after the match, Nepal badminton coach Sudeep Yonjan said Nepal’s victories were possible because the shuttlers played outstandingly in the competitive games. “We will reach the finals if the players continue to play their best,” said Yonjan.
The Bangladeshi coach, however, lamented the line judge’s drawbacks. “The line judge repeatedly called out although the shuttlecocks were in. Our women’s team performance was good in badminton,” said Gautam Chandupal, the Bangladeshi coach.
In the other pool, both men’s and women’s badminton teams from India and Sri Lanka directly entered the semi-finals after they received a bye.
On Monday, both men’s and women’s teams of Nepal will play against Sri Lanka. Shuttlers from India and Pakistan will play the semi from the other pool.
The single and double of the men’s and women’s as well as the mixed doubles matches will be held on Tuesday.
A total of 94 badminton players from seven countries in the region are competing for 7 gold, 7 silver and 14 bronze medals in the 13th South Asian Games.