Published On: February 4, 2018 09:15 AM NPT By: Kiran Lama

An Olympics aspirant

An Olympics aspirant

KATHMANDU, Feb 4 : It’s neither never too late nor too early to chase your dreams. No matter how young you are, if you have the zeal to be at the top, undoubtedly you will mark yourself as a successful person in near future. National Table Tennis player Santoo Shrestha, 17, is no exception. Due to high determination, he has already established himself as one of the youngest National Champions in table tennis. And recently he won the 39th Huawei National Table Tennis Championships in Kathmandu and also clinched gold for the first time in 7th National Games, Biratnagar. 

To add to his achievements, Santoo also won gold in the 36th National Table Tennis Championship, Kathmandu in 2014 under the Junior Boys Singles category, 10th late U-16 Hareram Joshi Memorial open Table Tennis Championship, Kathmandu in 2072 BS. He also received special training in Thailand and Pakistan for the game. Besides that, he has bagged bronze medals in Junior South Asian Table Tennis Championships Cadet, Junior South Asian Table Tennis Championship and South Asian Junior Table Tennis Championships under the Cadet Boy’s team and Cadet Boys single, respectively.

But it was not all fair and square for Santoo to become the number one table tennis player at such a young age. He had to struggle in the initial phase because he had started his sports career as a swimmer to follow his brother’s footsteps. He never gave up on his dreams, but followed them with passion and dedication. Moreover, a supportive family and good mentor like Nabita Shrestha, Sandeep Shakaya, Sushil Poudel and Aarif Khan guided him to pursue his dream. 

“Nabita Shrestha, the current number one national table tennis player in women’s category, used to be my coach while in school. She taught me to play table tennis properly. Likewise, Aarif Khan, a Pakistani instructor polished my table tennis skills,” said Santoo.

He is inspired by Zang Jike, a Chinese table tennis player, and aims to be an Olympian in near future. Santoo is currently studying BBS at Times College with full scholarship, and also takes part in the national training during morning and evening. He, however, said he was having a hard time managing his studies and sports. 

“Sportspersons are not even appreciated in Nepal. Hence, we can barely see a career or future in sports. Somehow, in comparison to the past days, we have a few added facilities and professionals. The future looks bright.”

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