KUALA LUMPUR: It came as no surprise. Malaysian artistic gymnast Farah Ann Abdul Hadi capped off a brilliant 2019 by winning the Olympic Council Malaysia (OCM)’s women’s Olympian of the Year award.
The 25-year-old bagged the prestigious award at the Shangri-La Hotel here yesterday after having qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and also winning three gold medals in the recent SEA Games.
She is only the third Malaysian gymnast to reach the Games after Au Li Yen and Ng Shu Wai. Shu Wai, who is one of Farah’s coaches now, competed in the men’s artistic event at the 2004 Athens Olympics, while Li Yen took part in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
In Manila, Farah Ann was the star at the Rizal Memorial Stadium as she won three of the five artistic gymnastics golds – winning in the all-around, floor exercise and uneven bars.
It was her best outing in any SEA Games, since making her debut in the 2011 Jakarta SEA Games.
Meanwhile, wushu exponent Loh Choon How took the OCM’s men’s Olympian of the Year award after winning two gold medals in the SEA Games.
Choon How won gold for the taijiquan and the taijijian (taiji sword) at the World Trade Centre in Manila.
He resisted a strong challenge from the more illustrious home duo of Danial Parantac and Jones Inso to retain the two titles Malaysia had captured through Loh Jack Chang two years ago in Kuala Lumpur.It was a commendable performance from the 26-year-old Choon How who had failed to make an impact in his first two Games appearances in Myanmar 2013 and Singapore 2015.
Each of them received a special gold medal and RM10,000 sponsored by the Coca-Cola company.
Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah was the guest of honour. He was awarded the OCM Special Award to recognise his involvement and contribution to sports.
Former OCM secretary-general Datuk Sieh Kok Chi was inducted into the OCM Hall of Fame with Almarhum Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Al-Musta’in Billah, Datuk Roland Wong and Lft. Jen. (B) Dato’ Seri Panglima Abdul Manap Ibrahim.
ROLL OF HONOUR
Olympian of the Year (Men): Loh Choon How (Wushu)
Olympian of the Year (Women): Farah Ann Abdul Hadi
Women and Sport Award: Tok Puan Zainon Hussein
OCM Special Award: Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah
Inductees to the OCM Hall of Fame Retired Officials:
1. Almarhum Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Al-Musta’in Billah (Football)
2. Datuk Sieh Kok Chi (Water Polo & OCM)
3. Datuk Roland Wong Choon Tat (Badminton)
4. Let. Jen. (B) Dato’ Seri Panglima Abdul Manap Ibrahim (Hockey)
Retired National Athletes:
1. S. A. Azman (Tennis)
Did you find this article insightful?
93% readers found this article insightful