KATHMANDU, Dec 25: Nepali badminton players Santosh Khadka and Sawan Shrestha were off to a winning start in the Chelsea Junior International Badminton Tournament that kicked off in Kathmandu on Tuesday.
Khadka defeated his compatriot Nirajan Devkota 21-18, 21-19 in the U-17 boys´ singles while Shrestha beat Manjur Ahmed Hasan of Team Nikhil Academy, Bangladesh 21-8, 21-19 in their respective matches held at the covered hall of the Dasharath Stadium.
In other first round matches of the same age group, Sasin Dangol defeated Europe Karki 21-4, 21-14, Bijit Shrestha registered a 21-12, 21-7 win over Jayabatruka Mohanta of Jharkhand Academy, India and Tirtha Malla saw off Sanam Shrestha 21-13, 21-16.
In the U-17 girls´ singles, Saumya Das of Jharkhand Academy registered a hard-fought 21-14, 16-21, 21-18 win over Shobha Gauchan of Nepal. Manishrani Tirki of Jharkhand, on the other hand, eased past Niru Shreshta of Nepal 21-9, 21-8. Meanwhile, Shreya Pradhan of Nepal earned a walkover from Swechha Shrestha.
In the U-15 boys´ singles, Rukesh Maharjan had an easy access to the second round after receiving a walkover from Sabin Shrestha. Sujan Shrestha ousted Tamjeed Ahmed of Team Nikhil Academy 21-7, 21-16 while Ahmed´s teammate Mohammad Hanif received a walkover from Jayabatruka Mohanta of Jharkhand Academy.
Jessica Gurung beat another Nepali shuttler Rekha Bista 21-10, 11-21, 21-9 to advance into the second round of the U-15 girls´ singles. In other matches, Saumya Das of Jharkhand Academy defeated Shraddha Pradhan of Nepal 21-7, 21-12 while Megha Chand received a walkover from Swechha Shreshta.
The tournament is organized by Kathmandu District Badminton Association while Chelsea International Academy is the main sponsor. The tournament was inaugurated by Badminton Asia Confederation´s member Prakash Bahadur Shahi earlier on Tuesday.