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Saturday June 13, 2009

Shuttler Chong Wei wins SAM-100Plus Excellence Award

PETALING JAYA: Shuttler Lee Chong Wei beat a stellar cast of athletes to capture the 2008 Sportswriters Association of Malaysia (SAM)-100Plus Excellence Award at a hotel here last night.

He had also won the Sportsman of the Year and Olympian of the Year awards for 2008.

The 27-year-old Chong Wei was chosen ahead of world No. 1 squash player Nicol David, archer Cheng Chu Sian, cyclist Azizul Hasni Awang and the women’s doubles badminton pair of Wong Pei Tty and Chin Ee Hu.

Chong Wei, who received a trophy and RM10,000 from Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek at a glittering ceremony, said the award would spur him to bring more glory to the country.

“I am delighted to have won this prestigious award ... it’s a boost for me with the World Championships just around the corner,” said a delighted Chong Wei.

“I would like to thank everyone who voted for me and I will strive to live up to their expectations.”

Chong Wei captured his fifth Malaysian Open title at the end of last year before ending it by winning the Super Series Masters Final. Last year also saw him end Malaysia’s medal drought in the Olympics when he won the silver medal at the Beijing Games. He also displaced China’s Lin Dan as the world No. 1 shuttler.

SAM president Abu Bakar Atan said it was not easy picking the winner.

Standing in: National singles head coach Rashid Sidek receiving a mock cheque on behalf of Lee Chong Wei from Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek yesterday. — GLENN GUAN / The Star

Another shuttler, Wong Mew Choo, won the 2007 award.