KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 19 — The Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah was tonight awarded the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) Special Award 2019 to recognise His Majesty’s involvement and contributions to sports.
The trophy, featuring a globe with all Olympic Games host cities, to symbolise the Olympic Movement and the action of sportsmen of core sports in Malaysia at the bottom, including three of Al-Sultan Abdullah’s favourites — football, hockey and polo, was presented at the 26th Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) Annual Dinner and Awards Night at a hotel, here.
The trophy was carried to the stage by the country’s four prominent Olympic Games medalists, Rashid Sidek, Cheah Soon Kit (Atlanta 1996), Datuk Lee Chong Wei (Beijing 2008, London 2012 & Rio 2016) and Pandelela Rinong (London 2012 & Rio 2016).
Former world number one shuttler, Chong Wei then handed the trophy to OCM president, Datuk Seri Mohamad Norza Zakaria who presented it to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Meanwhile, national gymnastics queen, Farah Ann Abd Hadi and wushu exponent, Loh Choon How were declared as the Olympians of Year 2019.
Farah, 25, who showcased spectacular and hypnotizing performances to clinch three gold medals at the recent 30th SEA Games in the Philippines and with a haul of seven gold, two silver and three bronze medals since her debut at the biennial Games in 2011 in Indonesia, was named as the female Olympian of the year.
She won gold in women’s all-around, floor exercise and uneven bars.
Prior to that, Farah became the first Malaysian woman artistic gymnast to qualify for 2020 Tokyo Olympics during the qualifying sessions of the World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany, last October.
The last time Malaysia had an artistic gymnast in the world’s biggest multisports event was when Au Li Yen was featured at the 2000 Sydney edition.
Choon How on other hand, had to overcome pain to bag two gold medals at the SEA Games by edging favourites and world class exponents in the men’s taijijian and taijiquan.
They each received RM10,000 cash and special gold medals, sponsored by Coca-Cola Company, from Al-Sultan Abdullah.
The event also witnessed five inductees for the OCM Hall of Fame, a recognition for outstanding retired athletes, sports officials, sports journalists and media personnel.
It was led by the late Sultan Ahmad Shah Al-Musta’in Billah for his contributions in football, among others as the president of Football Association of Malaysia (FAM), president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) from 1994-2002 and AFF president since 2011.
Other inductees are former OCM secretary-general, Datuk Sieh Kok Chi (water polo and OCM), Datuk Roland Wong Choon Tat (badminton), Lieutenant-General ®, Datuk Seri Panglima Abdul Manap Ibrahim (hockey) and former tennis player, S. A. Azman.
Full list of recipients
Olympian of the Year:
1. Loh Choon How (male)
2. Farah Ann Abd Hadi (female)
OCM Hall of Fame Inductees:
1. The late Sultan Ahmad Shah Al-Musta’in Billah (football)
2. Datuk Sieh Kok Chi (water polo and OCM)
3. Datuk Roland Wong Choon Tat (badminton)
4. Lieutenant-General (R), Datuk Seri Panglima Abdul Manap Ibrahim (hockey)
5. SA Azman (tennis)
OCM Special Award 2019: Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah
IOC Trophy: Perbadanan Stadium Malaysia
OCM Women and Sports Award: Toh Puan Zainon Hussein — Bernama