Paralympian Palesha, Kabiraj 2080’s best taekwondo practitioner, instructor

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By A Staff Reporter,Kathmandu, Apr. 21: Paralympian Palesha Goverdhan has been adjudged as the ‘Best Taekwondo Practitioner of the Year’ while Kabiraj Negi Lama was awarded as the ‘Best Taekwondo Coach of the Year’. The Nepal Taekwondo Association (NTA) presented the awards for the recently concluded 2080 B.S. during the association’s eighth annual general assembly in Sauraha, Chitwan, on Saturday.

The awards were presented by Minister for Youth and Sports Biraj Bhakta Shrestha alongside NTA’s President Prakash Shumsher Rana. The Association also provided a purse of Rs. 50,000 and Rs. 15,000 to Palesha and Kabiraj respectively.

Palesha qualified for the 2024 Paralympics in Paris after winning a gold medal in the final match of the Asian Qualifiers held in Taiyang, China, on March 18, 2024 (Chaitra 4, 2080 B.S.). Palesha is the first Nepali para-athlete to qualify for the Paralympics. Earlier, Palesha got a wildcard entry in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics Games in the 57 kg category and won two matches there.  She also won a bronze medal in the 2022 Asian Para Games in China.

On the other hand, Kabiraj, who holds a 6th Dan black belt, has been the coach of Nepal’s national para taekwondo team since 2015. Nepali taekwondo practitioners have won 10 international medals (3 gold, 2 silver and 5 bronze) under his training. Palesha has been instructed by Kabiraj in her feats as well. 

Meanwhile, Hemanta Khatri, taekwondo instructor at Jaljala Taekwondo Dojang of Rolpa district, was awarded as the year’s ‘Best Taekwondo Instructor’. He was also given a purse of Rs. 15,000. Likewise, Chitwan district and Bagmati Province were awarded as the best district and province respectively for outperforming others in taekwondo-related activities. They were also given a purse of Rs. 25,000.

Similarly, Indira Rana Magar, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives of Nepal, and Shekhar Golchha, Chairman of Golchha Group, were honoured with the ‘NTA Social Award’.

Nevertheless, Bhan Bahadur Chand, one of NTA’s vice-presidents, and NTA’s central member Ram Giri were honoured with the ‘NTA President Award’. NTA’s spokesperson Samrajya Bikram Pandey, Bagmati Province Taekwondo Association’s President Keshav Puri and Madhes Province Taekwondo Association were also honoured with certificates of praise.

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