KATHMANDU, September 7: The Female Player of the Year category in the upcoming NSJF Pulsar Sports Award is set to see a tough battle between Athletics' Kanchi Maya Koju and Saraswati Bhattarai, shuttler Nangsal Devi Tamang, archer Gyanu awale and footballer Sabitra Tamang. Out of five, three nominees including Bhattarai, Tamang and Awale are from Tribhuvan Army Club (TAC).
Award host Nepal Sports Journalists Forum (NSJF) will announce the winner on September 11.
Koju, also a nominee in the People's Choice Award, claimed five half marathon titles and also set national records in both events. She won the Kathmandu Marathon with a new national record of 2:55:57 and Pinkathon half marathon in 1:18:25 hours.
Apart from claiming titles of Dhangadhi, Nepalgunj, Darjeeling and Kantipur Half Marathons, she also bagged two gold and one silver medals in the 7th National Games held in the Eastern Region.
Other Athlete Bhattarai was the most successful player among a small Nepali contingent of the Rio Olympics after she broke a 26-year old record in the 1500 metres race. She completed the distance in 4:33.94 minutes to set a new benchmark. Saraswati also struck triple gold in the seventh National Games.
TAC archer Awale was part of the Nepali team that took team event silver in the International Solidarity Archery Championship in Dhaka. She was the highest scorer earning 564 points. She had also won gold in the National Games.
Suttler Tamang had combined with her brother Ratnajit to give Nepal its first ever international gold after the Tamang siblings won the Pakistan International Series mixed doubles title. She also claimed three gold medals in the National Games.
National women's football team striker Sabitra netted 13 international goals in a single year -- 12 of them came during the SAFF Women's Championship held in India. Sabitra's performance also helped Armed Police Force (APF) to win the CoAS Cup. She had also struck 16 goals during the National Women's League football.