KUALA LUMPUR: National shuttler S. Kisona, who came in as a replacement and then shot to fame with an unexpected women’s singles gold medal at the last SEA Games, has been nominated for the Sportswriters Association of Malaysia (SAM)-100PLUS 2019 Athlete of the Year award.
The 21-year-old’s fighting spirit helped Malaysia successfully defend the gold medal won by Goh Jin Wei at the 2017 Games in Kuala Lumpur. Kisona had been a replacement for Jin Wei, who fell ill before the Games.
The first-time nominee has been listed alongside four other strong candidates – national artistic gymnast Farah Ann Abdul Hadi, national track cyclist Mohd Azizulhasni Awang, national wushu exponent Loh Choon How and national figure skater Julian Yee.
Farah Ann won three gold medals at the 2019 SEA Games, Mohd Azizulhasni won the men’s keirin gold medal at the 2019 UCI Track Cycling World Series in New Zealand, Choon How won two gold medals at the SEA Games while Julian defended the gold medal he won at the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games in the Philippines last year.
The announcement of the nominations was made by SAM president, Jasni Shafie, during a press conference at the Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM) auditorium in Bukit Kiara today.
He also announced the nominees for the Para Athlete of the Year award – 2019 World Para Powerlifting Championship gold medallist Bonnie Bunyau Gustin, national para archers S. Suresh and Wiro Julin who have both qualified for the Tokyo Paralympic Games next year, and national para shot-putter Muhd Ziyad Zolkefli, who won a silver medal at the 2019 SEA Games.
Jasni said the winners in these key categories will receive a cash prize of RM10,000 and a trophy at the awards ceremony scheduled for Aug 12 at the ABM auditorium.
“Besides recognising outstanding athletes who brought glory to the country in 2019, the awards will also be celebrating sportswriters with a cash prize of more than RM50,000, ” he said.
There will be six media categories: Best News Report (Print), Best News Report (Electronic Media), Best Commentary (Print), Best Commentary (Electronic Media), Best Special Report and Best Sports Photograph.
The highest honour in the sportswriters category is the Siebel Award which comes with a RM7,000 cash prize and trophy. — Bernama
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