KUALA LUMPUR: As expected, track cyclist Azizulhasni Awang and diver Cheong Jun Hoong took the top prizes at the National Sport Awards here Tuesday night.
Azizulhasni was named Sportsman of the Year for 2017 after creating history by becoming Malaysia's first-ever cycling world champion when he claimed the keirin title at the Track Cycling World Championships in Hong Kong last April.
It is his third time winning the award following previous triumphs in 2009 and 2010.
The men had a strong field of contenders including Syarul Azman Mahen Abdullah (bodybuilding), Hakimi Ismail (triple jump, athletics), Gavin Kyle Green (golf), Fitri Saari (hockey), Rafiq Ismail (tenpin bowling), Wong Weng Son (wushu) and Khairul Hafiz Jantan (sprinter, athletics).
Syahrul and Weng Son were also world champions in their respective sports but Azizulhasni's achievement of taking the world title in an Olympic discipline beat out the competition.
Meanwhile Jun Hoong achieved a personal milestone after she won the Sportswoman of the Year for the first time.
The 27-year-old's historic feat of beating two top Chinese divers – Si Yajie and Ren Qian – to the world title was enough to land her the top prize.
Jun Hoong who was last nominated in 2014, and becomes only the second diver to win the honour following three-time winner Pandelela Rinong.
The other women who were nominated were Siti Safiyah Amirah Abdul Rahman (tenpin bowling), S. Sivasangari (squash), Koi Sie Yan (rhythmic gymnastics), Fatehah Mustapa (cycling) and Emma Firyani Saroji (lawn bowls).
Other awards saw Ziyad Zolkefli claim the Best Male Paralympian while the men's hockey team took the Men's Team of the Year.
The Sportsman and Sportswoman award winners received RM20,000, a trophy and a certificate each.
Roll of honour
Sportsman of the Year - Azizulhasni Awang (cycling)
Sportswoman of the Year - Cheong Jun Hoong (diving)
Best Male Paralympian - Ziyad Zolkefli (athletics)
Best Female Paralympian - none
Men's Team of the Year - Malaysian Men's Hockey Team
Women's Team of the Year - Women's tenpin bowling team
Men's Coach of the Year - Mohd Poad Kassim (athletics)
Women's Coach of the Year- Yoong Sze Yuin (basketball)
Sports Personality Award - Sultan Ahmad Shah (FAM)
Sports Leadership Award - Datuk Haji Wan Nawawi Wan Ismail (lawn bowls)
Special Award - Johor Darul Ta'zim (football) and Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah (MotoGP)