KATHMANDU, July 4: Nepal Sports Journalists Forum honored Bhupendra Silwal, one of the first Olympian of the country with Lifetime Achievement Award while Nepal Weightlifting Association President Ratan Tandon was given Special Award during the Pulsar Sports Award 2068 ceremony in Kathmandu on Wednesday.
Marathon runner Silwal and late Ganga Bahadur Thapa had represented Nepal in Athletics in the Tokyo Olympics 1964 during the country"s first Olympic participation.
Silwal from Godawari of Lalitpur had also participated in the Tokyo Asian Games 1958 and finished the marathon in the seventh position running bare feet. ´We had expected that our officials would buy shoes for us in Japan but they told us to run bare feet,´ recalled Silwal during the audio visual presentation. ´However Japanese people spilled water on my feet to provide some relief,´ he added.
Silwal also expressed dissatisfaction at politicization of sports. He urged everyone to support sports. ´If every sector supports Nepali sports Nepal also could win medals at the international level,´ Silwal said. Silwal also shared that he was attracted towards sports since his childhood.
NSJF General Secretary Hemanta Kafle and CEO of Avenues Television Bhaskar Raj Rajkarnikar handed over the trophy to Silwal.
Meanwhile, Tandon received the special award for his relentless effort in hosting national and international sports events in his hometown Nepalgunj.
Industrialist Tandon, who runs Western Nepal Kattha Mills and Tondon Plastics Company, has been serving Nepali sports from different level. Tondon was member of National Sports Council board and Nepal Olympics Committee. He had also served Nepal Badminton Association for long and was Bheri champion nearly four decades ago. He is currently presiding Nepal Weightlifting Association and is also the vice president of South Asian Weightlifting Federation.
Tandon had financed the accommodation and food expenses of participants in the Fourth National Games held in Nepalgunj in 2056 BS while he organized the First South Asian Weightlifting Championship in Nepalgunj last year bearing all the expenses personally.
After receiving the award emotional Tandon said that the award was the greatest honor he had received in the 40-year involvement in sports. ´I want to share this happiness with my wife Mira Tandon.´ The 66-year old said. ´I have taken this honor as civic felicitation.´
´The credit of my achievement goes to my late father Krishna Gopal Tanodn who guided me towards social service. I have gained a lot after my involvement in sports but lost nothing,´ said Tandon adding that he shall spent his rest of the life in sports.
Both the winners were awarded with cash prize of Rs 30,000 and gift hampers. Meanwhile, Tandon also announced to provide Rs 30,000 along with some additional amount to Surendra Hamal Players Welfare Fund set up by NSJF Banke Coordination branch.