PETALING JAYA: National diver Pandelela Rinong has been named winner of the Sportswriters Association of Malaysia (SAM) Best Athlete for 2015 award.
The 23-year-old Pandelela beat four other nominees – Lee Chong Wei (badminton), Nicol David (squash), Mohd Al-Jufri Jamari (silat) and Loh Jack Chang (wushu).
This is the third time Pandelela has won the award after 2010 and 2012.
“I’m happy with this win ... it will encourage me to perform better at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in August,” said the Sarawak-born exponent in a video recording on Thursday.
Pandelela won a trophy and RM10,000, but was not present to collect them as she’s in Windsor, Canada, for the third leg of the Diving World Series this weekend.
The prizes were given out by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
World junior champion shuttler Goh Jin Wei took the Most Promising Athlete award while the Wushu Federation of Malaysia were named the Most Dynamic Association.