Manandhar receives Prithivi Award

Kathmandu, January 10

The National Sports Association affiliated with the Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal today felicitated legendary marathon runner Baikuntha Manandhar with the Prithivi Award.

RPP-Nepal Chairman and Deputy Prime Minister Kamal Thapa handed over the felicitation letter and a cheque of Rs 200,000 along with replica of late King Prithivi Narayan Shah at a programme.

Manandhar, the South Asian record holder in marathon with the timing of 2:15:03 on his way to winning three straight gold medals, said he was happy to win the award. The four-time Olympian also thanked the organizers for choosing him for the prestigious award.

Born in 1952, Manandhar came into the sports at the age of 16.

Manandhar won marathon gold medals in the first three editions of South Asian Federation Games in 1984 (Kathmandu), 1985 (Dhaka) and 1987 (Kolkata).

He also participated in four Olympic Games in 1976 (Monteral), 1980 (Moscow), 1984 (Los Angeles) and 1988 (Seoul). Deputy PM Thapa lauded Manandhar’s contribution in Nepali sports. “He is a well known figure in Nepali sports and has made the nation proud in international arena.

He is a source of inspiration for many youths,” said Thapa. “This award has also helped in giving recognition to National Sports Association and RPP-Nepal,” he added.

Thapa also assured the Nepali sports fraternity of taking the budgetary issue of 12th South Asian Games to Prime Minister KP Oli.

“I assure you all that Nepal will take part in the SA Games and I will request the PM to solve the existing problem of budget,” he said responding to Nepal National and International Players Association President Deepak Bista’s doubt over Nepal’s participation in the regional games due to the lack of budget.

“The participation is under clouds as the government has not released the budget and the associations are forced to use their resources to prepare for the Games,” said Bista, a four-time SA Games gold medallist.

Ganesh Thapa, President of Youth, Student and Sports Department of RPP-Nepal said the association instituted the award last year to felicitate the sportspersons having long-time contribution. “We thought we should honour the players who have given their precious time of their lives to Nepali sports.

And we will keep felicitating the players in the years to come,” added Thapa. Last year, football coach Raju Kaji Shakya received the award.

President of NSA Nepal, Lok Bahadur Shahi thanked the RPP-Nepal and well wishers for making the award programme a grand success.