Shuttler Dahal, cricketer Bhurtel among nominees

Teenage badminton sensation Prince Dahal and cricketer Kushal Bhurtel were among the nominees for the Peoples’ Choice Award at the annual Pulsar Sports Award event to be held on March 22 in Kathmandu.

Along with the duo, middle-distance runner Santoshi Shrestha, footballer Anjila Tumbapo Subba and table tennis player Elina Maharjan were among the five nominees announced on Sunday.

The winners among them will be selected based on eSewa votes, Facebook likes and points awarded by the head coaches of 27 sports associations affiliated to the Nepal Olympic Committee and the members of the Nepal Sports Journalists Forum (NSJF), the organizers of the event.

eSewa votes will have a weighting of 50%, Facebook likes 25% and points awarded by coaches and NSJF members will have a weighting of 12.5% ​​each, said Govinda Regmi, NSJF Secretary and Committee Coordinator. selection of players. Voting will be open until midnight March 21.

“The nominations were made based on the player’s performance over the last year and this year as well as his popularity,” Regmi said. The winner of them wins a Pulsar two-wheeler in addition to the gift baskets.

Dahal, 17, is currently world number 1 in the badminton junior rankings and is also selected for the 2024 Olympic project. He beat No. 1 Nepal in the Ratnajeet Tamang in the national tournament and won back-to-back senior titles at the national championship Pushpalal Memorial Ranking for the past two years.

Appearing at the nomination unveiling ceremony, Dahal thanked organizers for nominating him for the award for the second time in a row.

Cricketer Bhurtel produced a sensational performance in his first international tournament in April last year in a Tri-Nation series involving Nepal, Malaysia and the Netherlands. He scored four half centuries in the tournament, including in the final, and also scored a century against the Philippines in the World T20 World Qualifier. Bhurtel is placed at No. 31 in the T20I men’s batting rankings. He is currently taking part in the national team’s tour of Sri Lanka.

Women’s national football team goalkeeper Tumbapo Subba is the first-choice goalkeeper of the Nepal women’s national team and an influential member of the APF club that won the women’s league trophy last year. She has conceded only one goal in 12 league matches. She played in Masha United Pakistan Women’s Championship and also captained the team. She also features in a biopic based on her life and football career.

“I hope to get your support in the future and I want to thank my family, coaches and teammates for being nominated for the prestigious award,” Tumbapo Subba said.

Shrestha is the first Nepalese athlete to win a gold medal in the middle distance in athletics at the South Asian Games when she achieved the feat at SAG 2019. After the sub-continental event in December 2019, she had the best results in nine events, including the recently held CoAS Marathon Half Marathon.

“This kind of award is vital for motivating players. Last year, I shared the special award with Ayasha Shakya from taekwondo,” Shrestha recalled. “The organizers of this award have done a fantastic job which the government should have done.”

The Sports Award will reward athletes in eight different categories. But unlike in the past which bestowed the best of the year awards on men, women and coaches, this time the NSJF announced that it would instead honor them with the best of the decade award. Apart from these, the NSJF will also be offering a special award, a lifetime achievement award and an honor for para-athletes to the athletes. A sports journalist from Asia will receive the Asian sports journalist award.

Winners of the Male, Female, Coach and People’s Choice awards will receive Pulsar two-wheelers while winners of other categories except the Journalist award will receive a Rs 50,000 cash prize.

Meanwhile, NSJF also signed a voting partnership agreement with online payment gateway eSewa before unveiling the nominations for the People’s Choice Award. NSJF Chairman Durga Nath Subedi and eSewa Managing Director Ashish Gautam signed the agreement.

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