Gaurika Singh, Manday Kaji clinch NNIPA best awardsThe swimmer had bagged four gold medals at 13th SAG while the karateka had won two.
Nepali athletes who achieved a host of feats during the 13th South Asian Games (SAG) held in Kathmandu and Pokhara in 2019 were felicitated by Nepal National and International Players Association with NNIPA Sports Awards amid a ceremony in Madhyapur Thimi, Bhaktapur on Saturday.
The awardees include swimmer Gaurika Singh, who won four gold, two silver, and three bronze medals, and karateka Manday Kaji Shrestha, who won two golds—one of them in a team event.
While Singh was named the Best Female Player for the Nepali calendar year, Shrestha was adjudged the best in the male category. The duo received a purse of Rs 100,000 each.
Golfer Subash Tamang, who won two gold medals, and wrestler Sangita Dhami, the first Nepali athlete to win wrestling gold in SAG, received the Rising Male and Female Player of the Year awards respectively. They received a cash prize of Rs 50,000 each.
National football team member Sujal Shrestha, who captained the men's team to SAG gold, was named the Talented Male Player of the Year. SAG twin gold medalist Ayasha Shakya won the Talented Female Player of the Year award. Both Shrestha and Shakya received Rs 50,000 as cash prizes.
Karate coach Akhabar Shah was honoured with the Gajraj Joshi Ideal Player of the Year Award. Shah, who received a purse of Rs 35,000, announced that he will hand over his prize money to Boshi Gaun Karate Academy. Sports journalist Roshan Raut was honoured with the Sports Journalism Award and received a purse of Rs 25,000. Raut, who has been active in sports journalism for more than two decades, is also a former vice-president of Nepal Sports Journalists Forum.
Para table tennis player Keshav Thapa was felicitated with Para-athlete Award and received Rs10,000 in cash prize.
Meanwhile, NNIPA also recognised the contributions of 26 athletes from as many games with NNIPA Player of the Year Award under the recommendation of their respective associations. Each of them received Rs 10,000.
Archery’s Sanatan Malla, athletics’ Santoshi Shrestha, badminton’s Ratnajeet Tamang, basketball's Anusha Malla, boxing’s Minu Gurung, cricket’s Anjali Chand, cycling’s Buddhi Bahadur Tamang, fencing's Rabina Thapa, and football’s Sujal Shrestha won the Player of the Year awards.
Golf’s Subash Tamang, handball's Kalpana Oli, judo’s Debika Khadka, kabbadi's Menuka Kumari Rajbanshi, karate's Manday Kaji Shrestha, kho kho's Shyam Budhathoki, lawn tennis' Pradeep Khadka, shooting's Kalpana Pariyar, swimming's Gaurika Singh, squash's Bipana Blon, and table tennis' Purushottam Bajracharya were the other recipients of the Player of the Year awards.
They were joined by taekwondo's Ayasha Shakya, triathlon's Sony Gurung, volleyball's Kul Bahadur Thapa, weightlifting's Bikash Thapa, and wrestling's Sangita Dhami won the awards based on the recommendations of their respective sports associations. Most of the players on the list were gold medalists of the 13th SAG.