Wednesday February 20, 2013
Diving diva Pandelela bags SAMís Athlete of the Year award
By ASHREENA PILLAI
PETALING JAYA: National diver Pandelela Rinong proved that she is very much the sports fraternity’s sweetheart as she took home the Athlete of the Year award at the Sportwriters Association of Malaysia (SAM)-100PLUS-KBS Awards ceremony held at the Hilton Hotel, Petaling Jaya yesterday.
The event, graced by Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, saw the 19-year-old Sarawakian capped a great year by winning the bronze in the women’s 10m platform at the 2012 London Olympics to take the honour along with RM10,000 and a crystal trophy.
The other nominees in the category were world No. 1 and fellow Olympian Lee Chong Wei (badminton) and world No. 1 and seven-time world champion Datuk Nicol David (squash), Malaysia’s first ever AMF World Cup champion Syafiq Ridhwan Abdul Malek (bowling) and 2012 London Paralympic medalists Hasihin Sanawi (silver in archery) and Mohd Ziyad Zolkefli (bronze in shot put).
Pandelela however was unable to attend the ceremony as she is currently training in China.
“I’m sorry I could not attend the ceremony. I want to thank SAM for bestowing this award to me for a second time. I would also like to thank my mum and dad and my coaches for all their support, for helping me get this far,” she said in a telephone interview.
“I hope that this award will be an inspiration to all the youths as well as our athletes to chase after their dreams,” she added.
The other winning athletes of the day were Moto3 rider Mohd Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Out-Do-Yourself), cyclist Mohd Fauzan Ahmad Lufti (Comeback Athlete of The Year), archer Haziq Kamaruddin (Best Young Athlete) and the Squash Rackets Association of Malaysia (Most Dynamic Association).
For the sports journalism awards, the Star’s Rajes Paul almost made it a clean sweep as she took home two awards from three nominations including the coveted Grand Overall Sports Journalism award – a first for her – which earned her RM7,000 in prize money and a trophy.
“I am truly happy to be recognised for the work that we in the media do and I thank SAM and the Ministry of Sports,” said Rajes.
“It will definitely motivate me to continue writing and hopefully, the articles will do more than just provide information to the readers but to transform lives, inspire someone and improve sports in our country.”
“I would also like to thank our sports desk team for their guidance, support and encouragement over the last 16 years,” added the 40-year-old who also took home the award for Best Commentary (Print Media) for her article “Please Don’t Discriminate”.
The Star’s S.S. Kanesan was also a winner. He added another feather to his cap by bagging the Best Photography award.
Kanesan also won the same award last year.
The other winners include Haresh Deol formerly of Malay Mail (Best News Report – Print Media), Astro Awani’s Mohd Fadzrie Haziz (Best News Report – Electronic Media), RTM’s Baharun Nurdalila Baharuddin (Best Commentary– Electronic Media) and RTM’s Effa Dian Ali (Best Special Report- Print and Electronic Media).
The winners of each category received RM3,000, a Nikon 1 V1 camera and trophy.