National swimmer Christina Loh is the favourite to win the Women Olympian of the Year award. - Filepic
PETALING JAYA: Middle distance runner Jironi Riduan and swimmer Christina Loh are tipped to claim the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM)-Coca Cola Olympians of the Year for their double gold medal feats at the Myanmar SEA Games last December.
The male and female winners for the 2013 edition will be made known on Wednesday.
The OCM awards committee, under Tan Sri Halil Abdul Mutalif, have shortlisted three male athletes – Ooi Tze Liang (diving), Khairul Anuar Mohamad (archery), Jironi Riduan (athletics) – and three female athletes – Christina Loh (swimming), Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei (badminton) and Syakila Salni Jefry Krishnan (karate) – for consideration.
Tze Liang won three golds and a silver at the Games but Jironi is the favourite to get the nod after becoming Malaysia’s first SEA Games middle distance double champion since B. Rajkumar’s feat in the 800m and 1,500m in 1983.
As for Khairul, he also won two golds – team and individual recurve – in Myanmar.
Christina should become the third swimmer after Siow Yi Ting and Khoo Cai Lin to win the female award for her double breaststroke triumph in Myanmar.
As for Syakila, she triumphed in the women’s below 61kg kumite final while Khe Wei-Vivian clinched Malaysia’s only badminton gold in the women’s doubles.