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Chong Wei, Pandelela crowned 2012 National Sportsman, Sportswoman

PETALING JAYA, April 16 (Bernama) -- Shuttler Datuk Lee Chong Wei and diver Pandelela Rinong were today crowned National Sportsman and Sportswoman of the year at the 2012 National Sports Awards.

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.

List of award recipients:

National Sportsman: Datuk Lee Chong Wei (Badminton)
National Sportswoman: Pandelela Rinong (Diving)
National Men's Team of the Year: (National Men's Junior Hockey team) Mohd Hazrul Faiz, Norhizat Sumantri, Faiz Helmi Jali, Muhamad Ramadhan Rosli, Shazrul Imran Nazli, Mohamad Syamim Mohd Yusof, Mohd Fitri Saari, Muhammad Noor Faieez Ibrahim, Shazril Irwan Nazli, Faizal Shaari, Dedy Ariyadi Jumaidi, Muhammad Aslam Mohammad Hanafiah, Muhammad Firhan Ashari, Amir Farid Ahmad Fuzi, Shahrul Azaddin Aus Karzie, Mohammad Izat Hakimi Jamaluddin, Kavin Kartik Govindasamy, Mohamad Azri Hassan.
National Women's Team of the Year: (National Women's Squash Team) Datuk Nicol Ann David, Low Wee Wern, Delia Odette Arnold, Siti Munirah Jusoh
National Paralympic Sportsman: Hasihin Sanawi (Archery)
National Male Coach: Rashid Sidek (Badminton)
Sports Leadership Award: Datuk Abu Samah Abdul Wahab (Cycling); Datuk Seri Paul Mony Samuel (Football)
Sports Icon: Tan Sri Elyas Omar
Special Award: Ng Chow Seng (weightlifting); Muhammad Zulfahmi Khairuddin (motorsport)



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