Khadka, Lamichhane lead nominations

- Post Report, Kathmandu

May 15, 2018-

Nepal Sports Journalists Forum on Monday announced the five nominees each in four categories of the Pulsar Sports Award set for June 18 at the Army Officer’s Club.

The annual Sports Award honours sportsperson in eight categories—the player of year male and female, youth, coach, para-athlete, peoples’ choice, special and lifetime achievement. NSJF has already announced the People’s Choice nominees and on Monday it revealed the contenders in the Male, Female, Youth and Coach categories.

The selection committee headed by Raju Ghising will determine the winners of the four categories while the SMS voting, facebook likes and points awarded by journalists’ and coaches will decide the winner of the People Choice award. The winners of the Lifetime Achievement, Parathlete and Special awards will be declared directly during the award function.

National cricket team skipper Paras Khadka and leg spin prodigy Sandeep Lamichhane were two top-notch names in the Male category nominees that includes shuttler Dipesh Dhami, judoka Indra Bahadur Shrestha and golfer Tanka Bahadur Karki. Footballer Sabitra Bhandari, boxer Bimala Shrestha, shuttler Shova Gauchan, archer Gyanu Awale and table tennis player Nabita Shrestha were named in Female category.

Lamichhane, who became the first Nepali cricketer to play in the cash-rich Indian Premier League when he made debut for Delhi Daredevils against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Saturday, appears favourite in the Youth nominees ahead of his U-19 skipper Dipendra Singh Airee, footballer Dinesh Henjan, judoka Manita Shrestha Pradhan and boxer Punam Rawal.

Cricket coaches Jagat Tamatta and Binod Das, Chhiring Lopsang Gurung (football) Prakash Thapa Magar (boxing) and Jayant Kumar Shrestha (badminton) were nominated for the coach of the Year award. The winners of the Male, Female, Coach and Peoples’ Choice will be rewarded with Pulsar NS motorbike while the winners of other four categories will be receive Rs 50,000 each.

Khadka has shown an exemplary leadership to lead Nepal to One-Day Interna-tional status through the ICC 2019 World Cup Qualifiers where he was the key performers. The ODI feat was preceded by a fine performance in the ICC World Cricket League Division 2 in Namibia where he was the leading run-scorer.

After he was snapped up by Daredevils franchise, Lamichhane had a wonderful year picking up a total of 84 wickets—35 of them for national team. He was named the player of the series in Namibia for his haul of 17 wickets. Dhami handed Nepal a mixed doubles gold in the Yonex Sunrise Pakistan Series and silver in the same category of Nepal series combining with Gauchan.

Judoka Shrestha claimed double gold—one each in the Thailand International Judo Championship and BKSP Judo Championship in Bangladesh. He also claimed two gold medals at domestic events and was named the best player twice. Karki triumphed in the Bhutan Open golf where he also led Nepal to team event gold. He also had three titles in the Surya Nepal Golf Tour besides team and individual gold medals in NSC Championship.

Footballer Bhandari was the most successful player in domestic women’s football scoring 28 goals from five games that handed Nepal Armed Police Force (APF) Club the CoAS Cup football tournament. The only goal scorer against Malaysia in an international friendly, Bhandari also gave a fine performance in a Futsal League in Maldives. Gauchan is the frontrunner in women’s nomination having handed Nepal a gold and silver with Dhami. Boxer Shrestha earned bronze in a competitive field of the Indian Open Boxing tournament apart from claiming double gold in the 54kg finals of two separate domestic tournaments.

Awale had combined with Tilak Pun Magar to hand Nepal a bronze in the mixed event of the South Asian Archery Championship. She set three new national records in the individual recurve events. Shrestha claimed a new record in women’s table tennis winning the national title for seventh time. She collected five gold last season including three individual titles.

Airee, also a member in the senior national team, led Nepal to a historic semi-finals of the ACC U-19 Asia Cup in Malaysia where they earned their first ever win against India in cricket. He also handed Nepal the ACC U-19 Eastern Region title and contributed crucial half century and picked up four wickets against PNG in the World Cup Qualifiers.

Pradhan won a bronze in the 11th Asian Junior Judo Championship and a gold in BKSP event in Bangladesh. She was also named the best player twice while winning double gold in domestic tournaments. Pugilist Rawal also took bronze in Indian Open and claimed double gold on home soil. Henjan scored both goals against India in the final of the Saff U-18 Championship and was the member of Tribhuvan Army Club that claimed six domestic tournaments.

Tamatta guided Nepal to a runners-up finish in the Division 2 in Namibia but most importantly it was the ODI achievement that could keep him in the pole position for coach of the year honour. Das was the coach of the team that entered the U-19 Asia Cup semi-finals and claimed the U-19 Eastern Region title. Gurung coached Nepal to Saff U-18 Championship title and had a successful run at domestic tournaments as well for Manang Marshyangdi Club.

Thapa Magar was the coach when Rawal and Shrestha won bronze medals at Indian Open, while it was Shrestha under whom Dhami and Gauchan won gold and silver medals respectively in Yonex Sunrise Badminton Series in Pakistan and Nepal.

Published: 15-05-2018 08:39

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