Pun, the strongest woman

Kathmandu, July 18

Tara Devi Pun is never second. The Nepal Police Club lifter won gold medal in her first participation way back in 2001 and she has never looked back in domestic front. Pun has been winning the Strong Woman title for the last five years.

“I don’t know the exact number of tournaments but I know that I have won gold medals in all of them,” says Pun. Nepal hosted the South Asian Weightlifting Championship in Nepalgunj five years ago. It was Pun who won the lone gold medal for the country. That feat also earned her the Player of the Year (Female) title at the Pulsar Sports Award.

This time around, Pun is nominated in the People’s Choice Award, which is selected by the SMS votes and Facebook Likes. She is in race along with table tennis player Nabita Shrestha, footballer Nawayug Shrestha, volleyball player Pratibha Mali and cricketer Sandeep Lamichhane.

The winning habit did not let Pun down in the 12th South Asian Games held in India earlier this year. Weightlifting was included in the regional sporting extravaganza for the first time and Pun bagged bronze medal in the 75kg weight category. The 33-year-old lifter from Myagdi district also set three new records in the 26th Women’s Asian Weightlifting Championship in Thailand.

“I am satisfied with my performance in domestic events as I have won gold medals in all the tournaments,” said Pun. Pun said People’s Choice Award as a different one to that of PoY Female category. “This one is a special kind of award and to be nominated in this category is an achievement in itself,” she added.

Chief coach Sunil Lal Joshi described Pun as a hard working athlete. “She is a successful weightlifter only because of hard work and discipline,” said the Olympian lifter. Interestingly, Pun was a volleyball player and she did not know about weightlifting until 1999. She was in volleyball’s closed camp for the eighth SAF Games and later switched the sport after taekwondo player Pramila Thapa advised her to try hands in weightlifting.

The 13th edition of the award – organised by Nepal Sports Journalists Forum under the sponsorship of Hansraj Hulaschand and Company Pvt Ltd – features eight categories. The winners in Male, Female and People’s Choice Award will receive Pulsar bikes, while Youth, Coach, Para-athlete, Special and Lifetime Achievement awards will get Rs 50,000 each along with Dish Home Set Top Box.

Surya Nepal, ISME Pvt Ltd, Dish Home, Avenues Television, THT LIVE, Ruslan Football, National Sports Council, Nepal Olympic Committee, Royal Singi Hotel, Timex, RJ Sports, John Players, Hotel Crown Plaza, Emazing, Nepal Music, All in One Arts Service are the co-sponsors and partners of the programme. The Award ceremony is slated for July 21 at Nepal Academy Hall.