KUCHING: Divers stole the show at the Sarawak Sports Awards 2011-2012 held at Kingwood Hotel in Sibu last Saturday when they swept the Sportsman and Sportswoman awards.
National diving queen Pandelela Rinong Pamg won her second Sportswoman award while Bryan Nickson Lomas completed a hat-trick of Sportsman awards after also winning it in 2005/2006 and 2007/2008.
Pandelela was recognised for her outstanding performance at the London Olympics last year where she won the bronze medal in the women’s individual 10m platform.
She was also the first Malaysian woman to have won an Olympic medal and in a sport other than badminton.
Pandelela, who was crowned the National Sportswoman 2011, also won the 10m platform gold at FINA GP Canadian Open, 10m platform synchronised bronze at World Series, Moscow and one silver, two bronzes at World Series Beijing/Dubai in 2012.
Her achievements in 2011 were a gold medal in 10m platform at SEA Games in Palembang, Indonesia, silver in 10m platform at University Games, Shenzen, China, and silver in the same discipline at World Series Beijing.
The second-year sports science student at University Malaya beat three other nominees Morren Ulai Lian (taekwondo) Jacqueline Jenelee Sijore (tenpin bowling) and Stephanie Law Feng Nie.
“I feel very happy to win this award again though I faced a strong contender in Jacqueline. I hope this award will encourage me to try harder for better achievements,” said Pandelela who will be flying to Guangzhou, China for a two-week training stint in preparation for the Myanmar SEA Games next month.
“I am going for gold in the women’s 10m individual platform and feeling quite confident that I can achieve my target. However, I will not be taking my opponents lightly,” said Pandelela.
She will not be competing in the synchronised diving event as she wants to give the chance to other upcoming youngsters.
Bryan, when interviewed, said he was very happy to have won for the third time.
“To me, this is like winning the National Sportsman award which I have never won. I dedicate this award to my father Lomas Pawi who passed away two months ago. It was dad who encouraged me to continue diving when I had queenwanted to give up on the sport at the age of 11 because it (training) was very tough,” he said.
Bryan won two golds at the SEA Games in Palembang in 2011 and a gold at Diving Asia Cup.
In 2012, he was ranked eighth in the 3m springboard and ninth in the platform individual at the London Olympics.
At the FINA Diving GP Canada, Bryan won two golds and he also won a bronze at the World Cup in London.
Also a sports science student at University Malaya, Bryan said he is concentrating on his studies for now and after that he will consider returning to diving.
“I hope new potential divers will come up to take over from me and Pandelela and continue to win glory for Sarawak and the country.”
He is also hoping to see that one day, a male diver from Sarawak will win an Olympic medal.
“I am quite disappointed for not being able to land an Olympic medal after competing in three Olympics – Athens, Barcelona and London. It is the ultimate dream of every athlete to win at Olympics,” he added.
Bryan may go for another Olympic Games after he obtains his sports science degree and “that also depends on my physical condition when the time comes.”
He also wished to see more aquatic centres set up in major towns of the state so that potential divers can be groomed into future Olympics stars.
The Promising Sportsman went to Mohammad Arif Zulhilmi Alet (athletics) while the Promising Sportswoman was Angela Chieng Chui Fei (swimming).
Jamery Siga (swimming) was adjudged the Paralympic Sportsman while the Paralympic Sportswoman award was won by Nabilah Ahmad Sherif (badminton).
The Best Coach was Ling Neng Thung (athletics) while the Best Paralympic Coach award went to Awang Ismail Zamia Awang Nusi (badminton).
Other awards winners included Sports Leader: Moh Wung Ming (volleyball), Best Men’s Team: Sarawak Squash Team, Best Women’s Team: Sarawak Volleyball Team, Tokoh Sukan: Late Bala Ditta and Special Award: Sarawak MSSM Team. Meanwhile, sportswriters from the See Hua Group’s stable of newspapers won two out of three Best Sportswriter awards at the Sarawak Sports Awards 2011-2012.
They were Harry Ilias of Utusan Borneo who won the Bahasa Malaysia category and Teo Chi Wei of See Hua Daily News who won the Chinese category.
Other nominees for the media awards included Ting Tieng Hee of Borneo Post and Kho Yeh Wei and Ng Joon Si from the See Hua Daily News.
ROLL OF HONOUR
Pandelela Rinong Pamg (diving)
Bryan Nickson Lomas (diving)
Mohammad Arif Zulhilmi Alet (athletics)
Angela Chieng Chui Fei (swimming)
Jamery Siga (swimming)
Nabilah Ahmad Sherif (badminton)
Best Coach: Ling Neng Thung (athletics)
Best Paralympic Coach:
Awang Ismail Zamia Awang Nusi (badminton)
Moh Wung Ming (volleyball)
Best Men’s Team: Sarawak Squash Team
Best Women’s Team:
Sarawak Volleyball Team
Tokoh Sukan: Late Bala Ditta
Sarawak MSSM Team
Best English Sportswriter:
Robert Kenneth @ Kerni Puah (The Star)
Best Chinese Sportswriter:
Teo Chi Wei (See Hua Daily News)
Best Bahasa Malaysia Sportswriter:
Harry Ilias (Utusan Borneo)
Zulazhar Sheblee (The Star)