Sportswriters name Chong Wei as athlete of the year

(From left) Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, Dr Ahmad Zahid and Chong Wei.

KUALA LUMPUR: World number one shuttler Datuk Lee Chong Wei was crowned the Sportswriters Association of Malaysia (SAM-100 PLUS 2016) Sportsman of the Year in a glittering ceremony here on Thursday night..

The 34-year-old Rio de Janeiro Olympics silver medal winner beat six other nominees, namely Pandelela Rinong-Cheong Jun Hoong (diving), Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong (badminton) and Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying (badminton) to clinch the award.

Also nominated were national track cycling sensation, Azizulhasni Awang, three-time world silat champion Mohd Al-Jufferi Jamari and national Moto3 rider Khairul Idham Pawi.

The victory was the second for Chong Wei, previously winning the award in 2008.

Among Chong Wei's achievements in 2016 was winning the silver medal in the men's badminton singles in the Rio Olympics.

He also regained his ranking as the world number one men's singles player and winning his sixth Indonesian Open title after coming back from an eight-month suspension for using a banned substance.

Meanwhile, Mohamad Ridzuan Mohamad Puzi was voted Best Paralympic Athlete after his historic feat in winning the country's first Paralympic gold medal in the men's 100m T36 event at the Rio Paralympic Games.

In the same year, the Perlis-born athlete also won gold medals at the 5th China Open International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Athletics Championship and IPC Athletics Asia-Oceania Championship.

Chong Wei and Ridzuan each received a trophy and RM10,000 cash presented by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Rising diving star, Nur Dhabitah Sabri was chosen as the recipient of the Best Young Athlete Award for displaying excellent and consistent performances to enter the final of the women's 10m platform event at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The National Silat Federation (PESAKA) was selected as the recipient of the Dynamic Sports Association Award based on the success of its athletes in winning medals at every championship and for its credible leadership and determination in improving the quality of silat in the country.

At the award ceremony, Megat Syafique Syazwan Mohd Khairul, a student of Bukit Jalil Sports School, was chosen as the Best Player in the Education Ministry Football League for 2016. – Bernama

Roll of honour
Best Athlete: Datuk Lee Chong Wei (Badminton)
Best Paralympic Athlete: Mohamad Ridzuan Mohd Puzi (Athletics)
Best Young Athlete: Nur Dhabitah Sabri (Diving)
Dynamic Sports Association: National Silat Federation
Best KPM 2016 League Player: Megat Syafique Syazwan Mohd Khairul

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