Sunday, January 2, 2011

Alex the biggest winner in cash rewards

KUALA LUMPUR: Bowler Alex Liew was the biggest winner in cash rewards handed out by the National Sports Council (NSC) yesterday to medal winners in the Guangzhou Asian Games last month.
The 34-year-old bowler received a total of RM128,000 for winning two gold medals from the men’s All-events (RM80,000) and doubles (RM40,000) and a silver from the team event (RM8,000).
However, Alex was not present to receive the rewards from Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek in the presentation ceremony in Bukit Jalil yesterday as he is featuring in the Pesta Penang.
It pays to be winners: Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek (centre) posing with the national athletes who received incentives from the National Sports Council (NSC) yesterday for winning medals in the Guangzhou Asian Games. — AZHAR MAHFOF / The Star
World No. 1 squash player Nicol David was the next big winner, taking a total of RM100,000.
The Penangite received RM80,000 for winning the women’s individual title and another RM20,000 for helping the team take the gold medal.
National No. 1 men’s squash player Mohd Azlan Iskandar was rewarded with RM90,000 for bagging the individual gold and team silver.
Malaysia achieved the best-ever medal haul of 9-18-14 in Asian Games history in the 16th edition in Guangzhou. The total payout in rewards under the NSC incentive scheme was RM1,876,000.
Alex said in a telephone interview from Penang that it was the biggest pay day for him from the NSC in his 15-year career thus far in the national bowling team.
“I was happy that I ended a gold medal drought in Asiad bowling in my fourth attempt in the series. I was hoping to win one gold medal but I got two and also a silver. It has been a great year for me,” he said.
The next Asian Games, which will be held in Incheon in 2014, are still very much in Alex’s mind and he is looking at maintaining a food form in competitions next year.
“I will not feature in the Asian championships in Abu Dhabi next month but I hope to compete in the Asian Tours and also competitions in Europe,” said Alex, who will save the money for expenses in his old age.
Five-time world champion Nicol, who was present for the function, said that she would use the money to celebrate Christmas with her family tomorrow.
“I like to thank my parents and family for all the support that they have given me throughout my squash career since I started training at a young age,” she said.
“It has been a splendid year for me. I was unbeaten in 12 tournaments and this is the best year of my squash career since I turned pro in 2000.
“The women’s team did well to win the gold in the Asian Games and in the recent world team championship, we also did well to finish third.”
Nicol now has 50 Women’s International Squash Players Association (Wispa) titles to her name.

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