Pandelela retains Sportswoman crown

BACK-TO-BACK: Pandelela Rinong receives the Sportswoman Of The Year Award from Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah as Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek (left) looks on during the 2012 National Sports Awards in Kuala Lumpur. — Bernama photo

State diving star wins second title as badminton ace Chong Wei clinches fourth Sportsman award

PETALING JAYA: Shuttler Datuk Lee Chong Wei and diver Pandelela Rinong were crowned National Sportsman and Sportswoman of the year at the 2012 National Sports Awards on Tuesday.

The prestigious annual national sports award held at a leading hotel here saw Chong Wei clinch his fourth National Sportsman crown (2005, 2008, 2011) while Pandelela wins her second title after having won it in 2011.

Pandelela, 19, eclipsed pre-award favourite and popular candidate Datuk Nicol David who had won the title seven times consecutively and other nominees on the list, Nur Suryani Muhamed (shooting) and Fatehah Mustapa (cycling), Esther Cheah (tenpin bowling), Chai Fong Ying (wushu), Quzandria Nur Muhamad Fathil (equestrian).

The national diver had won a bronze medal in the 10m individual platform at the Fina/Media Diving World Series) in Dubai, a silver at the first series of the 2012 Fina World Diving Championships in Moscow, Russia plus the gold medal at the 26th SEA Games.

The highlight of her achievement was winning the 10m platform bronze medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Chong Wei, the country’s most celebrated single’s player, held the world’s number one player ranking for a record 40 months since 2008 until last year and after losing the number spot due to injuries, has managed to regain his number one status.

The best achievement of the 30-year-old player last year included being champion in five international championships among them, the Super Series and the Super Premier Series under the ambit of the World Badminton Federation.

Other sportsman nominees were Muhd Syafiq Ridhwan Abdul Malek (tenpin bowling), Bryan Nickson Lomas (diving), Ricky Leong Tze Wai (karate), Sazali Abd Samad (weightlifting), Khairul Anuar Muhamad (archery) and Yu Peng Kean (fencing).

Chong Wei and Pandelela respectively received a trophy and RM20,000 cash from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah.

Meanwhile, winner of the National Paralympic Sportsman award received RM10,000 but there was no winner for the woman’s category. — Bernama

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