Sofia Shah: Popular from the pool

- Post Report, Kathmandu
Sofia Shah: Popular from the pool

May 21, 2014-

Teenager Sofia Shah is the rising star of the Nepali swimming whose plunge into the pool since the age of 12 finally bore fruit after four years as she has been nominated in the Popular Player of the Year category of the Pulsar Sports Award.

The 16-year old Shah is the new hope of Nepali swimming. She broke numerous pool records in the last 12 months, claiming almost a dozen of gold medals on domestic front.

Shah is vying for the country’s prestigious award with national cricket team skipper Paras Khadka, footballer Bimal Gharti Magar, spiker Saraswoti Chaudhary and sprinter Yam Sajan Sunar.

Nominated alongside Paras, who she calls ‘hero of the nation’, is something special for Shah. “Nomination in country’s prestigious award itself is a huge thing for me and to get named as popular along with Paras is remarkable for me,” said Shah.

Her nomination in the popular PoY itself has made her busier these days as she spends lot of time asking for votes with friends and families. The Popular award winner will be decided through SMS voting and facebook likes. Nepal Swimming Association is campaigning for her.

The last 12 months had been the golden period for Shah as she claimed nine gold medals. Furthermore, she also set three new national records during the period.

Shah claimed three gold in 19th National Swimming Championship, two in first Inter-club swimming Tournament and four more championship titles in the NSA Cup Swimming Championships.

Shah set a new 200m freestyle national record in the NSA Cup. Her best performance came at an international stage irrespective of her inexperience. Despite having a very little international exposure, Shah set the new national records in the 200m and 50m freestyle during the Fina World Championships in Spain.

The swimmer is well-known in the swimming circle as the most disciplined swimmer. Shah is currently the No 1 ranked woman swimmer in the freestyle event and floating is the strongest aspect of her game.

“A continuity of her current pace could mean we have a new medallist in the South Asian swimming,” believes coach Wangden Lama.

Published: 21-05-2014 08:58

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