Home2023After glorious junior days, Prince Dahal strives for Olympic glory

After glorious junior days, Prince Dahal strives for Olympic glory

DUBAI: As a junior player, Prince Dahal has made the headlines numerous times. He stayed in the top 10 of the world junior rankings for several weeks, even raised to the top of the rankings for a brief period, and won as many as 20 medals including six gold medals.

Now, as a senior player, he is still awaiting his big breakthrough and getting back to winning like he did during his junior days.

The 18-year-old, who is currently playing his first Badminton Asia Championships in Dubai, UAE, admitted that the transition hasn’t been smooth but said it’s just a matter of time before he finds back his rhythm.

“My goal is to play as many tournaments as I can, get the important world ranking points, and play the important events like the World Championships and Asian Games,” Dahal told Badminton Asia.

“My biggest dream is to win a medal at the Olympics, and I am already taking steps to achieve it at the Los Angeles 2028 Games,” said the shuttler from Darchula – a remote district in Nepal's far west.

Dahal in fact showed flashes of brilliance winning both his qualifier matches – against Saudi Arabia’s Nawaf Alghamdi (21-6, 21-8) and Mongolia’s Batdavaa Munkhbat (21-13, 21-16) and is set to play Japan’s Kanta Tsuneyama in the men’s singles first round match on Wednesday (26 April).

“I have fond memories of Dubai having won my first junior international here in 2018. So, I hope to give my best and do well tomorrow. I am not reading too much into my opponent. I just want to play my usual game.”

“I have been training a lot overseas including Thailand and Malaysia and that has really helped improve my game,” he stressed.

Dahal won his first international – the Under-15 title at Dubai Junior International Series 2018 before returning to the Emirate to win the Under-19 title the next year.

The promising shuttler, who idolizes Chinese badminton legend Lin Dan, is also trying to raise his game in mixed doubles with Rasila Maharjan, with whom he won clinched the bronze at the South Asia U-21 Regional Championships in the Maldives in 2019.

“I am trying to push her, guide her; and she is quite motivated to do well. We hope to play more events together and bring glory to Nepal,” he added.

For now, Dahal aims to cross his 20 medals in the senior category as he strives to chase his Olympic dream.

 

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