KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian rally ace Karamjit Singh and co-driver Allen Oh are in line for honours in the 2002 National Sports Awards, which will be presented in April.
The National Sports Council's (NSC) director general, Datuk Wira Mazlan Ahmad, said that Karamjit and Allen could be nominated as candidates for the Sportsman of the Year Award as the selection process is now open to professionals as well.
“The Sportsman of the Year award is now open to nominations for teams too. Previously, the award was only given for amateur sportsmen but it was amended two years ago,” said Mazlan.
“There is no reason for the selection panel not to accept their nominations. But it will be interesting to see who gets nominated from the motorsports body – Karamjit alone or together with Allen.”
Based on their achievements last year, the 40-year-old Karamjit and the 52-year-old Allen stand a strong chance of being named the Sportsman of the Year. If they succeed, it will be the first time that competitors in motor sports win the main category of the national awards.
The duo made history in November by becoming the first Malaysians to win the World Rally Championships’ production car title.
They were third in the Rally of Australia and the four points were enough to win them the title in their maiden season in the championships.
They finished on top of the overall standings with 32 points, six ahead of Finland's Kristian Sohlberg.
The success came hot on the heels of winning the overall Asia Pacific Rally Chanpionships’ (APRC) title with one round to spare. They achieved it with the win in the Rally of China last month.
Karamjit and Allen are also the first pair to win APRC’s and WRC’s titles.