Nepal | January 16, 2021

People’s Choice Award nominees announced

13th South Asian Games golden girl Singh, karateka Shrestha among five athletes in contention

Himalayan News Service
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The 13th South Asian Games four gold medal winning swimmer Gaurika Singh and double gold medallist karateka Monday Kaji Shrestha were among the five nominees in the People’s Choice category of the Pulsar Sports Award.

The People’s Choice Award nominees (from left) Aruna Shahi, Sabitra Bhandari, Sadina Shrestha and Monday Kaji Shrestha at the announcement ceremony in Kathmandu on Friday, December 18, 2020. Photo: THT

According to the organisers of the Award, the Nepal Sports Journalists Forum, national women’s volleyball team skipper Aruna Shahi, women’s basketball team captain Sadina Shrestha and national football team striker Sabitra Bhandari are the other three nominees in the category.

Swimming sensation Singh stole the limelight during the SA Games when she became the first athlete to win four gold medals in a single meet and also equalled taekwondo ace Deepak Bista’s record of four golds in the regional sporting extravaganza.

Singh also won gold medals in all 12 events she took part in the eighth National Games in Province-5 apart from taking part in the FINA World Championship.

Likewise, karateka Shrestha bagged two gold medals — individual and team kata — in the SA Games, while he bagged one each gold and silver in the eighth National Games. On foreign soil, Shrestha claimed a gold and bronze in the South Asian Championship in Bangladesh and was named the best player in the ninth Thailand Open apart from winning a silver medal.

Volleyball team captain Shahi led Nepal to the historic gold medal finish in the AVC Central Zone Women’s Volleyball Championship, while the national team bagged first ever silver medal in the 13th SA Games. National women’s basketball team skipper Sadna Shrestha won three silver medals over a period of one year — 13th SA Games, Bagmati Province (eighth National Games) and Samriddhi Gorillas (NBL).

Star striker of the women’s national football team Bhandari won silver medal in the SA Games and bagged gold in the eighth National Games.

She won Indian league titles with two different clubs — Sethu FC and Gokula Kerala.

The highest scorer for the national team, Bhandari was the star performer when Nepal finished runners-up in the Nadezhda Cup in Kyrgyzstan.

Meanwhile, the NSJF signed the contract with eSewa — Nepal’s first online payment gateway — as the voting partner of the Award. NSJF General Secretary Prajwal Oli and eSewa CEO Roshan Lamichhane exchanged the memorandum of understanding.

The 17th edition of the Award — which was postponed several times due to the coronavirus pandemic — is scheduled for January 12 next year at the karate covered hall in Lalitpur. The Award features 10 categories — Player of the year (male), PoY (female) and PoY (youth), coach of the year, People’s Choice, Para-athlete, Special, Lifetime Achievement, Team of the Year and International Asian Sports Journalist.

Winners in four categories — male, female, coach and people’s choice — will receive Pulsar motorcycle each, while others will get Rs 50,000 apiece. NSJF General Secretary Oli said the nominees in male, female, youth and coach categories would be announced in due course, while the winners of the para-athlete, special, lifetime achievement, team and international journalist would be awarded directly at the programme.


A version of this article appears in print on December 18, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.

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