KUALA LUMPUR: Optimist sailor Alvin Yeow Jian Shing and rhythmic gymnast Durratun Nashihin Rosli retained the honours for their sports in winning the 2002 Milo-MSSM Sportsboy and Sportsgirl Awards in a ceremony held at the Education Ministry here yesterday.
In the Awards for the previous year, the winners were Abdul Rahim Mohd Zan and Goh Yi Wei.
For Asian champion Alvin, winning the Award was a big boost ahead of his first-ever appearance in the World Optimist Championships, which will be held in Spain from July 23-Aug 3.
The 13-year-old Form Two student of SMK Teknik, Port Dickson, may be small in physique but he has a big heart.
“I am very excited and looking forward to competing in the World Championships,” said Alvin, who started sailing when he was eight.
“Although it will be my first outing, I still hope to get among the top 10 finish.
“I am not afraid to compete against the foreigners.
“Winning this award will spur me to achieve more successes in bigger tournaments.”
Alvin was a gold medallist in the recent national schools (MSSM) championships in Kuantan.
Among his achievements last year included winning the Sukma title and two gold medals in the national championships (individual and team).
He also bagged the individual and team gold medals in the Asean Championships in Singapore and emerged as the Asian champion in Qingdao, China.
Besides being an accomplished athlete, Alvin is also a bright student. He scored 5As in the UPSR examinations in 2001.
There was double joy for the Yeow family yesterday. The father and coach, Lawrence, won the special male teacher award.
Lawrence, who is a teacher of SMK Port Dickson, has groomed several other national optimist sailors, among them Chew Xian Jian, who finished 10th in the World Championships in Texas last year.
Optimist sailing is only for those under 15 years old. Those who are no longer eligible to compete move to the International or Laser classes.
Durratun is also thinking big. The 14-year-old rhythmic gymnast will be fighting for a place in the team for the Vietnam SEA Games when she participates in the national championships in Kuala Lumpur from Aug 3-5.
“Winning this award is a big boost ahead of the national championships. Only three gymnasts will be selected for the SEA Games in December.
“I hope I can turn in good performances to make the grade,” said the Bukit Jalil Sports School student.
“I am training very hard. I want to be part of the team ... I want to win a SEA Games gold medal.”
Last year, Durratun bagged a gold medal in the hoop event in the Inter-City Championships (Mayor's Cup) in South Korea.
She also won the individual all-around title in the North Harbour Championship in New Zealand. She has been tops in the national schools (MSSM) championships for the last two years.
The award for Alvin and Durratun yesterday carries a RM3,500 purse for each of them.
They received the award from the wife of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Datin Seri Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali.