Olympian swimmer, golden girl Singh in fray for People’s Choice Award

KATHMANDU, DECEMBER 25

Gaurika Singh has already become a household name after she bagged a record four gold medals in the 13th South Asian Games held in Kathmandu, Pokhara and Janakpur from December 1-10 last year.

The 18-year-old not only became Nepal’s first-ever gold medal winner in individual event of swimming but also equalled taekwondo ace Deepak Bista’s record of four gold medals in the history of SA Games.

The youngest athlete of Rio Olympic Games in Brazil four years ago, Singh stole limelight winning a total of nine medals — four gold, two silver and three bronze — taking her SA Games tally to 13 medals.

Nepal claimed a record haul of 206 medals — 51 gold, 60 silver and 95 bronze — on its way to finishing second for the second time in SA Games. And the SA Games athletes have dominated this year’s Pulsar Sports Award nominations. Singh is one of the five nominees in the People’s Choice category which will be decided through public votes and along with the votes of the national coaches and members of the Nepal Sports Journalists Forum, the organisers of the Award.

Singh had already created history in the 12th edition of the SA Games in India winning four medals including a silver and she was over the moon on home soil four years later.

Singh, who lives with her family in London, stole limelight once the newly-constructed heated swimming pool was opened for competition.

She became the first Nepali swimmer to claim a gold medal in individual event and went on to add three more to equal the record of taekwondo ace Bista, who had taken 13 years to claim four gold medals since winning the first in 1998 SAF Games in Kathmandu.

Singh, who is determined to play for Nepal throughout her career, is certain to set a new a benchmark in Nepali sports and also has a chance to become one of the few greatest athletes produced by the country.

She has already put Nepal in international sporting map when she became the youngest athlete of the Rio Olympic Games in 2016 and she only needs moral support from the sporting fraternity back home for her to excel in national and international events.

Singh, who earned the nickname of golden girl during the SA Games last year, is nominated for the People’s Choice category along with Monday Kaji Shrestha (karate), Aruna Shahi (volleyball), Sabitra Bhandari (football) and Sadina Shrestha (basketball).

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