Sunday, January 16, 2011

Puvaneswaran, Nicol clinch Olympian of the Year Awards

KUALA LUMPUR: Karate exponent R. Puvaneswaran pipped hot favourite cyclist Azizul Hasni Awang to win the 2010 Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM)-Coca-Cola Olympian of the Year Award for the men’s category at Wisma OCM yesterday.
The 37-year-old Kuala Lumpur kumite exponent edged Azizul, who was the first Malaysian to win the gold medal in the men’s keirin event in the Guangzhou Asian Games last November, by just one vote to win his first national level sports award.
Puvaneswaran showed exceptional courage and determination in winning the gold medal in the men’s below 55kg kumite event in the Asian Games.
It was also the first time a karate exponent had bagged a national sports award.
A karate first: R. Puvaneswaran posing with his Olympian Award medal and the RM10,000 mocked cheque at Wisma OCM last night. — ROHAIZAT DARUS / The Star
Bowler Alex Liew, who won two golds in Guangzhou and shuttler Koo Kien Kiat were the other two athletes nominated for the men’s category.
Three athletes were nominated for the women’s category – wushu exponent Chai Fong Ying, diver Pandelala Rinong and squash player Nicol David.
As expected world number one Nicol, who won two gold medals in the Asian Games in the individual and team event, won.
She is the only Malaysian athlete to win gold medals in the New Delhi Commonwealth Games and Asian Games last year.
This is the second time Nicol has won the Olympian award. She won her first award at the age of 15 when she bagged the gold medal in the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok.
Nicol David poses with mock cheque after receiving an incentives payment to national athletes who won gold medals in the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games by National Sports Council (NSC). - AZHAR MAHFOF/The Star
Nicol was in smashing form last year as she was unbeaten in 12 tournaments last year.
The Penangite also won all her nine Women’s International Squash Players Association (Wispa) titles last year.
Puvaneswaran received RM10,000 and a medal from the Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek last night.
Nicol, who won the National Sportswomen Award four times from 2006 to 2009, was not around as she is training in Melbourne under former world champion Sarah Fitz-Gerald,
The Asian Games squash team manager Peter Chee received the money and medal on her behalf.
Puvaneswaran was surprised to beat hot favourite Azizul to win the award.
“Everyone was expecting Azizul, the first Malaysian cyclist to win the keirin event in the Asian Games, to win the award.
“But much to my surprise, I beat Azizul for the award. It’s an honour to me as I have been nominated for the national sportsman award a few times but failed to win,” said Puvaneswaran, who has represented Malaysia in karate competitions for 20 years.
“The Guangzhou Asian Games was my last assignment as a national exponent and I am really happy to win the gold medal.
“I want to thank master T. Ponniah and my coach P. Arivalagan, who has helped me in training. I would also like to thank Makaf (Malaysia Karate Federation) and NSC (National Sports Council), who have taken care of my welfare for the last 20 years,” said the father of three sons.

Digg Google Bookmarks reddit Mixx StumbleUpon Technorati Yahoo! Buzz DesignFloat Delicious BlinkList Furl

0 comments: on "Puvaneswaran, Nicol clinch Olympian of the Year Awards"

Post a Comment