Taekwondo stars bag top honours

Kathmandu, June 19:

Taekwondo ace Deepak Bista and Manita Shahi were honoured with the best male and female player of the year awards respectively by the Nepal National and International Players’ Association (NNIPA) today.

Bista completed a hat-trick of gold medals when he won at the 10th South Asian Games in Colombo last year. He also won his second bronze medal at the 15th Asian Games in Doha in December, last year.

Shahi was honoured for her gold medal at the 10th SA Games and a bronze at the 15th Asian Games. As both Bista and Shahi are undergoing special training in Korea, their mothers received the cash prize of Rs 10,000 each along with letters of appreciation.

NNIPA honoured Hari Bahadur Rokaya, the first Nepali sportsperson to register his name in the Guinness Book of World Records, with a cash prize of Rs 10,000. Rokaya holds the fastest high altitude marathon record. NNIPA also provided Rs 25,000 to althete Bishnu Kafle, who injured her legs on a motorbike accident during the 10th SA Games camp.

The NNIPA feted the best players in 27 sport disciplines. Hari Khadka was named the best footballer of the year, while other players honoured were Kamal Bahadur Adhikari (weightlifting), Sulochana Sijakhwa (karate), Kushal Shrestha (karate), Raj Kumar Rasaili (wushu), Debu Thapa (Judo), Sumina Shrestha (badminton), Sachit Pradhan (bodybuilding), Binod Das (cricket), Dharma Raj Yadav (wrestling), Bhagwati KC (shooting), Kanchi Maya Koju (athletics), Sushil Ghimire (boxing), Manju Gurung (volleyball), Khageswori Rawal (kabbadi), Bilam Lal Shrestha (chess), Deepak Gurung (archery), Tashi Ghale (golf), Muna Basukala (table tennis), Rupak Gurung (basketball), Monika Ranjit (gymnastic), Sailesh Rana (swimming), Purushottam Rijal (kyukosin karate), Laxmi Maya Gautam (ITF taekwondo) and Hari Bahadur Thapa (squash).

State Minister for Education and Sports Mohan Singh Rathore, Nepal Olympic Committee president Dhruba Bahadur Pradhan and the National Sports Council member secretary Jeevan Ram Shrestha feted the players at a ceremony.