Print Edition - 2016-07-22 | Sports
Football dominates sports award
- Shrestha, Khatri win Player of the Year n Ranjitkar honoured with Lifetime Achievement
- Maharjan walks away with Coach of the Year
Jul 22, 2016-
Football dominated the Pulsar Sports Award on Thursday as it walked away with six of the nine categories presented by the Nepal Sports Journalists Forum (NSJF), an umbrella organisation of Nepali sports journalists.
While prolific national team striker Nawayug Shrestha won the Male Player of the Year, defender Anjan Bista walked away with Youth Player of the Year and Bal Gopal Maharjan claimed the Coach of the year award. Judoka Phupu Lhamu Khatri was the only non-football discipline to win one of the four award decided from among five nominees announced previously.
Former national team player and referee Sriram Ranjitkar, late Lalit Krishna Shrestha, the former Anfa acting president and Three Star Club president and football team itself completed the football dominance. Ranjitkar was honoured with Lifetime Achievement, Shrestha was posthumously presented with Special award for his contribution towards the game and the football team with Team of the Year honour.
Khatri was awarded with the Female Player of the Year trophy. Table tennis player Nabita Shrestha won the People’s Choice Award as she earned the maximum votes among the five nominees. Taekwondo player Sita Bhandari was honoured with the Para-athlete of the Year.
NSJF annually awards sports personalities in eight different categories. It unveils five shortlists each in four categories—Male, Female, Youth and Coach of the Year—before deciding the winners on the function day. While People’s Choice Award, which was previously named as Popular Player of the Year, was decided through SMS voting and Facebook likes, it revealed the winners of the Lifetime Achievement, Special and Para-athlete of the Year awards on the day of the function.
Tribhuvan Army Club forward Shrestha was instrumental in breaking Nepal’s 23-year title drought, scoring four goals in Nepal’s triumphant Bangabandhu Gold Cup campaign in Bangladesh in January. And in less than a month later, he struck seven goals as Nepal won 12th SA Games gold in India. It was the first football silverware for Nepal in the regional games since winning it in 1993. NSJF deemed Shrestha as the deserved candidate for the honour among the four other nominees—weightlifter Bikash Thapa, wushuka Rajesh Chaudhary, taekwondo player Bir Bahadur Mahara and goalkeeper Bikesh Kuthu.
Khatri has been the revelation in judo having won the 12th SA Games gold medal in India. It was Nepal’s first gold in 21 years in the discipline. She also became the first women to achieve the feat in the SA Games. Her major achievements over the last one year include silver medal in the Hong Kong Junior Open and bronze medal in Hungary Open. He beat fellow 12th SA Games gold medallist wushuka Nima Gharti Magar, swimmer Gaurika Singh, Roja KC of triathlon and taekwondo player Rejina KC.
Footballer Bista won the Youth Player of the Year ahead of strong contenders in cricketer Sandeep Lamichhane, swimmer Gaurika Singh, wushuka Gharti Magar and judoka Manita Shrestha. His contribution in Nepal’s two major football successes last year outweighed the achievements from the other contenders.
Maharjan was awarded the Coach of the Year ahead of another football coach Raju Kaji Shakya, who himself lead the team to the historic 12th SA Games gold. Maharjan, however, won the award for helping break Nepal’s 23-year title drought by winning the Bangabandhu Gold Cup title and also steering Nepal to first U-19 Saff Championship trophy. Other nominees for the award were Prakash Maharjan (wushu), Dal Bahadur Gurung (judo) and Jagat Tamatta (cricket).
The Male, Female and People’s Choice award winners rode home with pulsar motorcycle, while winners in the other five categories received Rs 50,000 each and gift hampers.
Pulsar Sports Award Winners
Male Player of the Year : Nawayug Shrestha (football)
Female Player of the Year : Phupu Lhamu Khatri (judo)
Youth Player of the Year : Anjan Bista (football)
Coach of the Year : Bal Gopal Maharjan (football)
People’s Choice : Nabita Shrestha (table tennis)
Lifetime Achievement : Sriram Ranjitkar (football)
Para-athlete of the Year : Sita Bhandari (taekwondo)
Special Award : Late Lalit Krishna Shrestha (football)
Team of the Year : Men’s Football
Published: 22-07-2016 11:32