NSJF Pulsar Sports Award: Athletics steal the show with Deepak Adhikari and Rajpura Pachhai winning Best Athlete awards

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Kathmandu, February 11

Nepal Sports Journalists Forum, an umbrella organisation of Nepali sports journalists, organised the 20th edition of the Pulsar Sports Award at Hotel Yak and Yeti on Tuesday. 

The Pulsar Sports Award has remained one of the most coveted awards in the Nepali sports fraternity. 

This year, the awards were distributed in nine categories.

Here are the names of sports personalities who received the awards in different categories. 

Player of the Year (Male)- Deepak Adhikari  

Athlete Deepak Adhikari received the title Player of the Year from the male category. Adhikari won two gold medals in the Asian Cross Country Championship. He also won four gold medals and a bronze medal in the national championship.    

In the 16th Asian Cross Country Championship, he won gold in two categories.

During the 9th national, he set a national record in during a 10-kilometre race and won a gold. Similarly, he also won gold medals in the 2nd Right to Protein Run, Chief of Army Staff Cup and Lumbini Half Marathon. Adhikari also won silver in the Kantipur Half Marathon.  

The other nominees for Player of the Year were Aashif Sheikh and Rohit Paudel. 

Player of the Year (Female)- Rajpura Pachhai  

Athlete Raj Pura Pachai bagged the title Player of the Year from the female category.  In the 16th Asian Cross Country Championship, Pachhai won a silver medal in a 10-kilometre race. During the 9th National Game Pachhai won silver in the 5,000-metre race. 

She also won gold medals in the Bir Ganesh Man Singh 10-kilometre Road Race and Dharan Road Race. Likewise, she won gold medals in other competitions such as Kantipur Half Marathon, Pokhara Half Marathon, and Lumbini Half Marathon. Illam Mai Pokhari Half Marathon and Pradhan Senapati Half Marathon. 

Other nominees for the Player of the Year female category at the Pulsar Sports Award were Anusha Malla and Pushpa Bhandari. 

Coach of the Year- Chandra Bahadur Gurung  

Athletics clean swept the best category during the Pulsar Sports Award with Chandra Bahadur Gurung winning the Coach of the Year award.

Under his leadership, Nepal won two gold medals in the 16th Asian Cross Country Championship. 

While seniors won two golds and one bronze, the juniors won two silver and one bronze.  Similarly, in the Bangabandhu Shiekh Mujib Dhaka Marathon, Nepal won one gold and two bronze under Gurung’s coaching.

The other nominees for the Coach of the Year were Ananta Thapa, Bhagwati Ranamagar, Bharat Shah, Deepak Maharjan, Jagat Tamata, Monty Desai and Ongden Lama. 

Young Player of the Year – Dev Khanal  

Cricketer Dev Khanal won the Young Player of the Year award at the Pulsar Sports Award. Under Khanal’s captaincy, Nepal U19 cricket team qualified for the U19 World Cup for the first time in eight years.

During the qualifiers, in which Nepal beat the UAE in the final, Khanal scored 179 runs at an average of 65 in three innings. He scored 125 runs against Kuwait and 51 in the final against the UAE.

Alongside Khanal,   Ram Maya Budha, and Sushma Tamang were also nominees for Youth Player of the Year. 

Para Athlete of the Year – Maiya Bishunke

Para throwball player Maiya Bishunke won the Para Athlete of the Year during the Pulsar Sports Award. Her journey began in 2006 when she competed in national championships and secured a gold medal. Subsequently, she represented Nepal in various international events, including the Youth Para Games in Japan in 2009, the Asian Para Games in China in 2010, and the London Paralympics in 2012.

Recognising the importance of sports for individuals with disabilities, Maiya established the Para Throwball Society to promote their participation in sports.

People’s Choice Award – Sikka Suwal Shrestha

Table tennis player Sikka Suwal Shrestha won the People Choice Award. Suwal holds the 510th position in the world women’s table tennis rankings. Notably, she won the Stag Global Champions League. Her participation includes competing in the Asian Games in China and the Asian Championship in South Korea.

Special Award – Sudarshan Ranjit

Pokhara-based photojournalist Sudharshan Ranjit has been honoured with a Special Award for his contributions to the field of sports. For over four decades, he has dedicatedly covered sports events in Pokhara, showcasing his talent and commitment through his remarkable camera work.

Life Time Achievement Award – Rajendra Kumar Pradhan

NJSF Pulsar Sports AwardRajendra Kumar Pradhan

Veteran weightlifter Rajendra Kumar Pradhan, aged 69, was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award during the Pulsar Sports Award. Notably, in 1980, he secured the title of Nepal’s first weightlifting champion, marking a historic achievement. Pradhan holds the distinction of being the first weightlifter from Nepal to compete in the Olympics.

In addition to his illustrious career as an athlete, Pradhan transitioned into coaching roles. In 1990, he served as Nepal’s coach during the Asian Games. Furthermore, he coached the Nepali team during the 8th South Asian Games held in Nepal and the 10th South Asian Games in Sri Lanka.

Asian Sports Journalist Award – Raymond Chu

Raymond Chu from Hong Kong has been awarded the Asian Sports Journalist Award. Chu serves as the primary mentor for YSR, a youth training program under the International Sports Press Association (AIPS). With an impressive resume, Chu brings extensive experience, having covered six Olympics and five FIFA World Cups throughout his career.

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