Sensational Samba wants elusive gold


Sensational footballer Sabitra Bhandari has enjoyed the stardom in South Asia but her dreams of winning the SA Games have taken her sleeps away.

Samba has already become the highest scorer for Nepal national team and is regarded as one of the best strikers in South Asia. And she has left her mark in Indian league as well, winning two titles with two different teams in the last two seasons.

But she has not been able to land the South Asian Games gold medal and she feels sad about it.

With the Nepali team beating the archrivals on couple of occasions two years ago in international tournaments; the home team had a high hope of winning the maiden title in SAFF Championship on home soil. But that did not happen as India reigned supreme. The team, which had finished second behind India in five out of six occasions in the past, hoped to win the SA Games gold medal in the 13th edition when Nepal hosted the regional sporting extravaganza. But the Nepali girls again lost to India in the final at the Pokhara Stadium.

Despite enjoying the stardom across the country and beyond, Samba is in no mood to celebrate until kissing the elusive SA Games gold medal. “We are capable of beating India and win the South Asian Games gold medal,” says Samba. “We only need love and support from everyone and we will bring home the trophy one day,” she adds.

With her sizzling performance in the pitch, Bhandari has once again earned a nomination in the People’s Choice category under the Pulsar Sports Award. She is in fray for the prestigious award along with swimmer Gaurika Singh, karateka Monday Kaji Shrestha, basketball player Sadina Shrestha and volleyball player Aruna Shahi. The winner will be decided through public votes and the votes of national coaches and the members of the Nepal Sports Journalists Forum, the organisers of the Award.

The 17th edition of the Award 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.