Home2018I have a dream: Ratnajit

I have a dream: Ratnajit

Nepal's top shuttler Ratnajit Tamang has dreams of playing in the Tokyo Olympics. He certainly realises that qualifying for the Olympics is a tall order but he is trying to do everything he possibly can to get to Japan in 2020. 

"I have played in the Asian Games and other tournaments and now I would like to play in the Olympics," said the 25-year-old Ratnajit, Nepal's No. 1 player. "I know it's not going to be easy but I must try my best to qualify."

Many people outside the badminton fraternity would probably not have heard of him but Ratnajit has played in numerous international competitions since making his debut international debut in 2009 at the Badminton Asia Championships. "It was an amazing experience for me as I played Chen Long."

Winner of the Pakistan International in 2016, Ratnajit is now competing in his third Asian Games here in Jakarta. He led Nepal into the men's team quarterfinals where they lost to Chinese Taipei. "This is the second time we have played in the quarterfinals. In Incheon, we were in the quarterfinals and lost to Malaysia. I played (Lee) Chong Wei then." 

Having played in multiple Asian Games, Ratnajit, who also plays the men's doubles and mixed doubles for Nepal, wants to move up to the Olympics. "It's difficult to qualify and so I'm thankful to Badminton Asia for helping me."

Badminton Asia is assisting Ratnajit and many other players from the continent through a development programme known as the Asia Olympic Project. The AOP consists training opportunities and competition scholarships for players from developing countries. The programe is aimed at setting the players on a path towards qualifying for the World Championships and Olympics.

Nepal aside, some of the other countries whose players are involved in the AOP are Sri Lanka, Iran, Nepal, Macau China, Mongolia, and Maldives.

With the help from Badminton Asia, Ratnajit and the others in the AOP get the opportunity to compete in competitions and also attend training programmes in various countries. "I have attended training in Japan and Malaysia. I need to play more and improve my game to have a chance at qualifying."

Ratnajit, who loves watching Lin Dan in action, is currently ranked 226. "I started playing when I was 10-years old. My dad used to play, so did my sisters, that's how I got into the game," said Ratnajit, who is from the city of Bhojpur, some 45 minutes by plane from Kathmandu. "Playing against some of the top players in the world has inspired me to improve and be better. Now, my aim is to qualify for Tokyo." 

With the team events over, Ratnajit will now play in the individual competition. He is down to play Korea's Son Wan Ho in the men's singles. He is also competing in the men's doubles and mixed doubles events today.


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