Pulsar Sports Award nominees announced

Kathmandu, May 14

Leg spinner Sandeep Lamichhane, who was nominated in People’s Choice, made it to three when he was picked up in male and youth categories of the NSJF Pulsar Sports Award slated for May 17 at the Army Officers Club.

The selection committee of Nepal Sports Journalists Forum unveiled the nominees of male, female, youth and coach categories at a press meet today. Lamichhane along with national cricket team skipper Paras Khadka, badminton player Dipesh Dhami, judoka Indra Bahadur Shrestha and golfer Tank Bahadur Karki were nominated in the male category.

Lamichhane, who was member of Nepali national cricket team that earned the One Day International status for the first time, caught international attention when he was picked up by Delhi Daredevils for this year’s Indian Premier League for Rs 3.2 million.

Khadka led national team to the ODI status for the first time. He scored one each century and half century in ICC World Cricket League Division-II and scored 231 runs in the ICC World Cup Qualifiers held in Zimbabwe. In domestic cricket, Khadka won Dhangadhi Premier League with Team Chauraha Dhangadhi and Everest Premier League title for Biratnagar Warriors.

Shuttler Dhami teamed up with Shova Gauchan to win the mixed doubles title of the Yonex Sunrise Pakistan International Series and they finished runners-up in the Yonex Sunrise Nepal International Series. Dhami was the lone Nepali player to reach the men’s singles quarter-finals of the Nepal International Series.

Judoka Shrestha won gold medals in the Thailand International Judo Championship and BKSP Judo Championship in Bangladesh and also bagged gold medals in NSC Championship and Ambika Chhetri Memorial Judo Championship. Shrestha was named best players in both NSC Championship and Ambika Chhetri Memorial Championship.

Golfer Karki won gold medals in individual and team event of the Bhutan Open. He also claimed gold medals in individual and team event of the Nepal Open Amateur Golf Championship as well as of NSC Championship. Karki claimed three titles in the Surya Nepal Golf Tour.

Similarly, boxer Bimala Shrestha, shuttler Shova Guachan, archer Gyanu Awale, footballer Sabitra Bhandari and table tennis player Nabita Shrestha were nominated in women’s category.

Boxer Shrestha bagged 54kg weight category bronze medal in the Indian Open Boxing Championship and won gold medals in NSC Championship and Ganeshman Memorial Boxing Tournament. She also finished first in Asian Games selection event.

Shuttler Guachan, who teamed up with Dipesh Dhami, won mixed doubles title of the Yonex Sunrise Pakistan International Series and finished runners-up in the mixed doubles category of the Yonex Sunrise Nepal International Series.

Archer Awale, who set national records for three occasions, won recurve mixed team event bronze medal of the South Asian Archery Championship in Bangladesh along with Tilak Pun Magar. She also bagged gold medal in Laxman Shrestha Memorial Indoor Championship and claimed silver in NSC Championship.

Football striker Bhandari scored a goal against Malaysia in friendly match and helped Nepal APF Club win the CoAS Cup title scoring 28 goals in five matches that included 12 goals against Mid-western Region. Bhandari also shone in the Maldives Futsal League. Table tennis player Shrestha won the National Table Tennis title for the record seventh time and bagged five gold medals, including three in individual events.

Lamichhane was nominated in youth category along with fellow another cricketer Dipendra Singh Airee, footballer Dinesh Henjan, judoka Manita Shrestha Pradhan and boxer Poonam Rawal. Airee was the skipper of Nepali team that earned semi-finals berth in the ACC U-19 Asia Cup for the first time. Airee scored 88 runs and claimed four wickets in Nepal’s historic win over India. He also an important member of the team that earned ODI status. He bagged four wickets and scored half century against Papua New Guinea in vital match of the ICC World Cup Qualifiers.

Footballer Henjan helped Nepal win SAFF U-18 Championship in Bhutan as he scored both goals against India in the final match. He was the member of Tribhuvan Army Club who win six titles in the season.

Judoka Pradhan bagged bronze in women’s 57kg weight category event of 11th Asian Junior Judo Championship and claim gold in BKSP Cup Judo Championship in Bangladesh. She also won gold medals and was named the best player in NSC Championship and Ambika Chhetri Memorial Championship.

Boxer Rawal claimed bronze in women’s 64kg section of the Indian Open Boxing Championship, while she won gold medals in NSC Championship and Ganeshman Memorial Boxing Tournament. She also became first in Asian Games selection event.

Likewise, cricket coaches Jagat Tamatta and Binod Das along with football’s Chhiring Lopsang Gurung, boxing’s Prakash Thapa Magar and badminton’s Jayant Kumar Shrestha were nominated in coach category.

Tamatta guided Nepal to ODI status for the first time as Nepal finished eighth in the ICC World Cup Qualifiers. He also guided Nepal to runners-up finish in the ICC World Cricket League Division-II. Das was the coach of the youth team that entered the semi-finals of ACC U-19 Asia Cup where Nepal registered their first-ever victory over India at any level. Das also helped Nepal win ACC U-19 Eastern Regional event.

Gurung was the coach of Nepali football team that won the SAFF U-18 Championship in Bhutan. He also helped Laxmi Hundai Manang Marshyangdi Club win Duhabi Gold Cup. Thapa Magar was the coach of Nepali team in the Indian Open Boxing Championship. He was also the chief coach of team that represented Nepal in the Asian Men’s and Women’s Boxing Championship.

Badminton coach Shrestha helped Nepal win one each gold, silver and bronze medals in the Yonex Sunrise Pakistan International Series as well as one each silver and bronze medals in Yonex Sunrise Nepal Series. Out of the eight categories of the Sports Award, NSJF has already named the nominees of people’s choice category, while the winners of Para-athlete, Special and Lifetime Achievement categories will be announced during the ceremony.