NAA awards Bharati, coach Rana

Kathmandu, May 13:

Nepal Athletics Association (NAA) awarded Nirmala Bharati as the best Athlete of the Year-2005/06 at a programme today.

For the first time in NAA’s history, athletics coach and NAA general secretary Sushil Narsingha Rana was chosen the best coach of the year.

Bharati was uninimously picked up for the award following her tremendous run during the period where she broke seven national records — 5,000m (August 12, 2005), 10,000m (twice in September 4, 2005 and March, 2006), half marathon (thrice in September 17, 2005, January 21, 2006 and April 2, 2006) and 3,000m (November 5, 2005).

Among the records, her half marathon record set in Germany on April 2, 2006 is considered the best where she finished sixth with the timing of 1:18.46.

Bharati received Rs 15,000 as the award. On the occasion, NAA also handed her the prize money of Rs 25,190 she won in Berlin marathon.

Sushil Narasingha Rana also got Rs 10,000 for bringing in tremendous results during the last one year. Asian All Star gold medallist Rajendra Bhandari was also felicitated during the programme. He received Rs 10,000.

Honarary members of the NAA Gajaraj Joshi and director of the Nepal-German Athletics Development Project Gunter Langue as well as chief sponsor of the 35th national game Nepal Investment Bank and Amar Jyoti English Boarding School, who had supported the event, were also feted.

Gajaraj Joshi is the first Nepali athlete to take part in the international tournament when he ran in the Asian Games held in New Delhi in 1951.