Resounding Victory: Nepal’s Pickleball Success in India

  • By Phatya Bahadur Khadka

Kathmandu, The Nepal Pickleball Team, in a historic turn of events, created a significant impression on the global scene by competing in the “Subodh Kumar Memorial,” also known as the 2nd East Zone Pickleball Tournament-2024. Held in Patna, Bihar from January 26 to 30, 2024, this tournament which was organized by the Bihar Pickleball Association and affiliated with the Indian Pickleball Association (IPA) under the World Pickleball Federation (WPF) brought together over 150 players from seven states in India, including Team Nepal, the only representative from outside the country.

In the lead is the dynamic the squad, led by Mr. Saurav Bhandari, the president of the Pickleball Association of Nepal at the moment, was made up of seven talented players who competed against teams from Uttar Pradesh and other Indian states. The diverse team consisted of Mr. Sanjeev Giri and Mr. Monaj Kumar in the +35 men’s singles and doubles categories, Miss Swastika Maharjan in the +19 women’s category, Miss Chandra Maya Rai in the +35 women’s doubles and singles category, and Lt Col Phatya Bahadur Khadka (R) and Mr. Johan Makaju in the 50+ doubles and singles category.

  • The winner pickleball players are pictured with Mr. Saurav Bhandari, the current president of the Pickleball Association of Nepal.

Players from Nepal demonstrated their prowess in all categories, making the tournament a true test of talent and endurance. Among the fierce competition, the Nepal Pickleball Team made a noticeable impression by winning 3 gold, 2 silver, and 5 bronze medals. The fact that the Nepal squad was the only one from outside the country among a plethora of Indian rivals adds even more significance to this accomplishment.
Lt Col Phatya Bahadur Khadka, a retired Nepali Army officer (+50) were two exceptional performers for Team Nepal. Lt Col Khadka and Mr. Johan Makaju showed great skill and perseverance by competing in the men’s doubles and men’s singles divisions for both the +50 and +35 age groups. Lt Col Khadka’s efforts added to Nepal’s total medal total with a gold medal in the men’s doubles and a silver medal in the men’s singles (+50) and (+35) categories. Mr. Johan Makaju boasted a gold medal and a bronze medal, respectively.

  • In the men’s doubles (+50) category, Lt Col Phatya Bahadur Khadka (R) and Mr. Johan Makaju are displaying their gold medals.

In addition to participating in the women’s (+35) category, Miss Chandra Maya Rai also demonstrated her strength by winning gold medal in the women’s singles (35+) and also took home bronze in the women’s doubles and mixed doubles categories. The team’s accomplishments demonstrated the Nepal Pickleball Team’s unity and collective strength in addition to each player’s individual brilliance. In the same way, Mr. Monaj Kumar won silver, and two bronze in the men’s singles (35+), men’s doubles (35+), and mixed doubles (35+) categories where he competed.

  • In the women’s singles (+35) and (19+) categories, Miss Chandra Maya Rai and Miss Swastika Maharjan displaying gold medals.

In the world of athletics, an athlete’s tenacity, talent, and willpower are frequently what determine their success. During the 2nd East Zone Pickleball Tournament-2024, Mr. Johan Makaju, Miss Chandra maya Rai, Lt Col Phatya Bahadur Khadka(R), Miss Swastika Mahajan, Mr. Saurav Bhandari and Mr. Monaj Kumar all important members of the Nepal pickleball team exemplified these qualities and made a lasting impression on the global scene.

A powerhouse in both women’s and men’s pickleball, Miss Chandra Maya Rai, Miss Swastika Maharjan, Lt Col Phatya Bahadur Khadka(R), Mr. Johan Makaju, Mr. Monaj Kumar Saurav Bhandari, and Mr. Sanjeev Giri demonstrated their versatility by competing in three different categories: men’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s singles, and mixed doubles. They won a gold medal, a silver medal, and a bronze medal, respectively, for their extraordinary performance.

Their accomplishment of three gold medals in the men’s doubles (50+), women’s singles (35+), and 19+ women’s singles categories was a credit to their individual talent, strategic thinking, and mental toughness. They faced tough competition, but they handled the obstacles skillfully and won the gold medals in three different categories. Their demonstration of technical mastery and physical dexterity not only garnered honor to themselves but also improved Nepal’s reputation in the pickleball world for both men and women.

Both the men’s and women’s doubles competitors from Nepal put up an impressive show when they teamed up with a teammate. The players’ on-court connection and synchronization were evident, and they rightfully won a gold. In particular, the Nepal Pickleball Team’s three gold medals demonstrated their ability to succeed in both individual and team competitions, highlighting their depth of talent and agility in addition to demonstrating their teamwork.

The pickleball game has been promoted by Bishal Milan Kendra, a center recognized for encouraging all sports, especially pickleball for more than a year. In spite of several obstacles and shortcomings, the help and support provided by Bisal Milan Kendra to promote pickleball and uplift the aspirations of Nepali pickleball players. On February 2, 2024 ,gathering of players, staff, PAN president, and Bishal Milan Kendra president at the special function of welcome and felicitation that was held on the organization’s premises, Mr. Hari Adhikari welcomed and felicitated the winners of the 2nd East Pickleball Championship held in Patna, India, and elaborated on how the game of pickleball is thriving in Nepal and Whatever remarkable feat the Nepali pickleball players accomplished in India, PAN President Mr. Saurav Bhandari expressed extreme optimism about the sport’s future in Nepal and the organization is making every effort to grow its network in order to attract an increasing number of young players. He continued by saying that playing in international tournaments gives Nepali pickleball players a great deal of exposure and confidence.

The fact that some of Team Nepal’s opponents were ranked in the top 10 in Indian pickleball ranking is noteworthy and adds to the significance of the win. The competition gave players from various areas a chance to show off their skills and also promoted friendship and camaraderie among them.

The Nepal pickleball team’s participation in the 2nd East Zone Pickleball Tournament in Bihar, India in 2024 is a motivational tale of success against adversity. It highlights Nepal’s increasing competitiveness and influence in pickleball and highlights the country’s commitment to the game. It is believed that if pickleball players from Nepal are encouraged to play abroad, their skills will improve and they would get a lot of exposure. The player ‘s accomplishments will surely boost the thriving pickleball community in Nepal as they head back home with medals, inspiring more fans to take up the sport and set comparable goals for themselves on the global scene.

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