KUALA LUMPUR, March 13 — World champions Azizulhasni Awang and Cheong Jun Hoong were crowned Malaysia’s finest athletes for the year 2017 when they won the Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Award in Kuala Lumpur today.
Azizul achieved his lifelong goal of winning the keirin crown at the UCI Cycling World Championships in Hong Kong last year while Jun Hoong also achieved a first for Malaysia in diving by capturing goal in the women’s 10m platform gold in the World Aquatic Championships in Budapest last July.
It was Azizulhasni’s third award after having won it in 2009 and 2010 while the Perak-born Jun Hoong secured her first national award.
Ziyad Zolkefli won the Para-Athlete of the Year award after the 28-year-old set a new world record of 17.29m in the T20 (intellectual disability) at the World Paralympic Championships.
He also broke new grounds by competing with able-bodied athletes in the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games and secured a bronze.
Men’s team of the year award went to the national hockey team who qualified for this year’s World Cup india and were also runners-up in the Asia Cup.
Women’s team of the year award was won by the national bowling team of Shalin Zulkifli, Siti Safiyah Amirah Abdul Rahman, Sin Li Jane, Syaidatul Afifah Badrul Hamidi and Natasha Roslan. They won the team gold at the World Championships in Las Vegas in December.
The ‘Special Award’ (Anugerah Khas) went to rider Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah and Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) football team.
Hafizh made history by securing a spot in the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team to race in this year’s MotoGP season, the first Malaysian to do so, while JDT have been dominating local football and is one of the strongest clubs in the region.
The Coach of the Year Award went to Poad Kassim who has been instrumental in turning Malaysian sprinters, particularly Khairul Hafiz Jantan, into regional powerhouses.
Khairul won last year’s SEA Games 100m gold and also broke Tan Sri M. Jegathesan’s long-standing 200m national record of 20.92s set in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics by clocking 20.90s at last year’s Malaysia Open under Poad’s guidance.
Women’s coach of the year went to Yoong Sze Yuin who guided the women’s basketball team to a SEA Games gold last year.
All winners took home RM20,000 each except for the team awards. Each athlete in the team category in the list received RM3,000.
Roll of honour
Sportsman of The Year — Azizulhasni Awang (Cycling)
Sportswoman of The Year — Cheong Jun Hoong (Diving)
Para-Athlete of The Year — Ziyad Zolkefli (Shot Putt)
Men’s Team of The Year — Malaysia Tigers (Hockey)
Women’s Team of The Year — Shalin Zulkifli, Siti Safiyah Amirah Abdul Rahman, Sin Li Jane, Syaidatul Afifah Badrul Hamidi and Natasha Roslan (Tenpin Bowling)
Men’s Coach of The Year — Poad Kassim (Athletics)
Womens Coach of The Year — Yoong Sze Yuin (Basketball)
Sports Figure of The Year — Sultan Ahmad Shah (FA of Malaysia)
Sports Leadership award — Datuk Wan Nawawi Wan Ismail (Malaysia Lawn Bowls Federation)
Special Award — Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) football team, Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah (MotorGP)