PETALING JAYA, Feb 19 — National diving queen Pandelela Rinong, winner of a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics, was crowned Sportswriters Association of Malaysia-100Plus 2012 Athlete of the Year, here today.
The diver who clinched an unprecedented bronze medal from the women’s 10m Platform diving, beat renown names like Datuk Nicol David (squash), Datuk Lee Chong Wei (badminton) and Syafiq Ridwan Abdul Malik (tenpin bowling), and two Paralympic athletes Hasihin Sanawi (archery) and Mohd Ziyad Zolkefli (shot put) who were nominated for the first time.
Pandelela from Sarawak, walked away with RM10,000 and a trophy that was presented by Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek.
In a pre-recorded video clip that was aired during the prize presentation ceremony, Pandelela who apologised for not being able to be present to receive the award since she was currently undergoing training g in China, thanked SAM, her parents and her coach who had helped her achieve the desired results.
“I hope the award today will further inspire me and other athletes to continue their search for excellence in the future,” she said.
The 2011 Sportswoman of the Year had won a silver medal at the World Diving Championships in Moscow, Russia in 2011 and a bronze medal at the 2011 World Universiti Games in Shenzhen, China.
Meanwhile, The Star journalist Rajes Paul was awarded the 2012 SAM-KBS Journalist award which came with RM7,000 and a trophy. — Bernama