KATHMANDU, Sept 8: “I thought of applying abroad but I didn’t because I don’t want to be just another face in the crowd,” says Priti Rijal, 18, who has been defending her national senior women’s lawn tennis title for two years now. “All the good players from around the world gather there and I’ll be lost in that crowd.”
Born in Biratnagar, Rijal was inclined towards sports from the very beginning. But it was her brother Utsav Rijal who inspired her to become a lawn tennis player. “My brother is also a tennis player and is studying in the USA with a tennis scholarship; he is also the team captain,” says Rijal.
Rijal did her schooling from New Summit School, Baneshwor. “After my SLC examinations, Xavier International College offered me a scholarship and I completed my higher secondary level from there,” she says laughing.
Starting her tennis career at the age of 12, Priti has already bagged seven gold medals in the Under-12, Under-14, and Under-16 and Under-18 titles in the past seven years. And that doesn’t end the list of her accomplishments. She also bagged the tennis competition organized by Nepal Investment Bank in Pokhara in February and her winning spree continued to the national level competition held at the Fifth National Games in Kathmandu in July. After that she has become the reigning women’s tennis champion of Nepal.
Besides her feats at the national level, Rijal has competed in various tournaments in Myanmar, China and Vietnam. In China, she was even able to achieve fifth position but in Vietnam she couldn’t keep up the same level of performance due to illness. In Myanmar, however, she ranked eighth out of 18 participants, which helped her earn points.
Currently, Rijal is busy with her schedule which includes her student life, building up her game and imparting tennis lessons at St. Xavier’s School. For someone her age, Rijal has been mature enough to manage her studies as well as she maintains her moves on the tennis court.
This graduate student of Social Work at St. Xavier’s College who doesn’t miss her forehand shots says she wants to serve aces in the field of social service also.
myrepublica.com wishes her all the ground she needs.
Rijals thoughts stating if I go abroad, I will be lost in a sea of faces makes me wonder. It is a reflection of how many nepalese people,affluent in Nepal but not so abroad would perhaps feel. But it is rather nai´ve. Her aim should be to be the best, and in order to achieve such a feat she would have to work hard as tennis players such as Nadal and Murray have done.