KATHMANDU: Deepak Adhikari and Rajpura Pachhai have won the Male and Female Player of the Year awards, respectively, at the NSJF Pulsar Sports Award 2079 held in Kathmandu on Sunday.
Deepak was selected for the honor ahead of Nepali national team captain Rohit Audel and Opener Asif Sheikh. The Tribhuvan Army Club athlete won two gold medals in the Asian Cross Country Championships held in Kathmandu in March last year. He won gold in the Men’s 10-kilometer race and the team event. Additionally, he clinched gold in the 10 km race at the 9th National Games held in Pokhara last year, setting a national record.
Similarly, Rajpura won two silver medals in the 2023 Asian Cross Country Championships. She earned silver in the Women’s 10km race and the team event. She was chosen for the honor ahead of fellow track and field athlete Pushpa Bhandari and the national basketball team’s vice-captain Anusha Malla.
Sikka Suwal of table tennis received the ‘People’s Choice Award’. She was selected ahead of Ananta Tamang of football, Biplab Lal Shrestha of karate, Niruta Thagunna of volleyball, and Rajani Shrestha of bodybuilding to receive the honor. The recipient of the People’s Choice Award was determined based on votes from journalists affiliated with NSJF, national team coaches, and supporters through online voting.
Likewise, Maiya Bishunkhe received the Paraathlete of the Year honor. Maiya, who has participated in the 2009 Youth Para Games, 2010 Asian Para Games, and 2012 London Olympics Para Games, is currently involved in empowering differently-abled people through sports.
National U-19 Cricket Team Captain Dev Khanal has received the Young Player of the Award, while Hong Kong-based sports journalist Raymond Chu has received the Asian Sports Journalist Award.
In the coaching category, Athletics Coach Chandra Gurung received the Coach of the Year Award. Under his guidance, Nepal secured two gold and two silver medals in the 2023 Asian Cross Country Championships held in Kathmandu last year. Gurung was selected for the award ahead of boxing coach Deepak Maharjan and cricket coach Jagat Tamata.
The NSJF honored weightlifting coach Rajendra Kumar Pradhan (69) with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Additionally, NSJF honored Pokhara-based photojournalist Sudarshan Ranjit with a Special Honor.
Organized by the Nepal Sports Journalists Forum (NSJF), the NSJF Pulsar Sports Awards honor the best athletes based on their performance in a calendar year.