By a Staff Reporter
HamroKhelkud.com honored seven supreme athletes who have contributed significantly to Nepali sports during their time on the occasion of its seventh anniversary amidst a program on Thursday.
On a program organized at Ashok Hall, HamroKhelkud honored the first international medal winner for Nepal Jit Bahadur Kc, the South Asian Games (SAG) record holder runner Baikuntha Manandhar, the Gold Medalist of SAG both as a coach and a player Raju Kaji Shakya, the first player to succeed in the qualifiers and played in the Olympics Sangina Baidhya, Deepak Bista who has won the most medals in individual events in an international arena, star cricketer Paras Khadka and Gaurika Singh, who won the most medals in the 13th South Asian Games (SAG) held in Nepal three years ago. The supreme athletes have been rewarded with Rs. 25000 each and a certificate.
The athletes were rewarded by the hands of Member of Parliament Gagan Thapa, Member Secretary of National Sports Council (NSC) Tankalal Ghising, General Secretary of Nepal Olympic Committee (NOC) Nilendra Raj Shrestha, China Tradelink Pvt. Ltd. CEO Rajan Maharjan, Immediate Past President of Bethanchok Village Prem Bahadur Timilsina, Shyamkrishna Humagain, President of Nepal Sports Journalist Forum (NSJF) Durganath Subedi and President of Nepal National And International Players’ Association (NNIPA) Deepak Shrestha.
Jit Bahadur KC (Athletics)
KC won a bronze medal in the Asian Athletics Championship almost 5 decades ago. KC finished third in the Marathon with a timing of 2 hours 35 minutes and 38 seconds in the championship which was held in the Philippines back then. It is the first international medal won by any Nepalese athlete. Olympian KC is still working in the National Sports Council (NSC).
Baikuntha Manandhar (Athletics)
Baikuntha Manandhar is the record-holder runner in the South Asian Games (SAG) till date. Manandhar had won gold medals in Marathon in three consecutive editions in SAG which began from 1994. He is the first Nepali to score a hat-trick of gold medals in SAF.
In the 3rd SAG held in 1987, Manandhar set a record in the marathon. He set a record by completing the distance timing 2 hours, 15 minutes, and 03 seconds, which has not been broken yet. Manandhar has also represented Nepal in the Olympics for 4 times.
Raju Kaji Shakya (Football)
In football, very few people have won the Gold Medal in SAG as both captain and coach. Shakya is one of them. Shakya was a prime member of the team when Nepal won gold medals in the first edition and the sixth edition of SAG in 1984 and 1993 respectively. He was the captain of the team when Nepali Football won gold in the sixth edition of SAG.
As a coach, Shakya won a gold medal in the 12th edition of SAG held in India in 2016. He is currently working as a coach of the A Division side, New Road Team – NRT.
Sangina Baidhya (Taekwondo)
Even though Nepalese athletes started participating in the Olympics since 1960, Baidya had succeeded in the qualifying stage for the 2004 Athens Olympics. Baidya had won gold medals in 8th SAG and 9th SAG in 1999 and 2004 respectively. She was the coach of the Taekwondo team in the 13th SAG 2019 which was hosted by Nepal. She is also the Asian Taekwondo Champion.
Deepak Bista (Taekwondo)
Bista has won gold in taekwondo in four consecutive editions since the 8th SAG, 1999. He also won bronze in Asian Games in 2002 and 2006. He also played in the Beijing Olympics 2008 as the second athlete to participate in the Olympics after surpassing the qualifying stage. Bista is the current president of the Nepal Olympian Association and taekwondo coach.
Paras Khadka (Cricket)
Khadka is the most successful captain and player in the history of Nepali Cricket. Nepal had only played a single T20 World Cup so far. Khadka was the captain of the team when Nepal competed in its first T20 World Cup in 2014 and when Nepal got ODI recognition in 2018. Nepal won the first title of the International Cricket Council (ICC), Division 5, Division 4, and 3 under his captaincy. He is the first player to score centuries in both ODI and T20 for Nepal.
Gaurika Singh (Swimming)
Swimmer Gaurika Singh won the most medals in the 13th South Asian Games (SAG) held in Nepal three years ago. Gaurika bagged 9 medals including 4 gold medals in the 13th SAG. She became the first Nepali athlete to win gold in the individual event in SAG swimming. She participated in the 2016 Rio Olympics when she was 13 years old. She was the youngest athlete to participate in the 2016 Rio Olympics.