KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 7 — Kuala Lumpur SEA Games 2017 (KL2017) double gold medallist, Welson Sim and track cyclist Fatehah Mustapa were crowned male and female Olympian of the Year for 2017, respectively at the 24th Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) Annual Dinner and Awards Night here tonight.
Welson, 20, had also won the gold medal in the men’s 400m freestyle at the Mare Nostrum Tour in Monaco in June by edging Olympic champion Mack Horton of Australia and rewrote the national record, to become only the second Malaysian to win a title in the tour, after Phee Jinq En (rpt: Phee Jinq En), last year.
In KL2017, the Kuching-born youth claimed two gold after defending his 400m freestyle title and winning the 200m freestyle event, besides a silver and a bronze in the 4x100m freestyle and 4x200m freestyle events.
Meanwhile, the 28-year-old Fatehah had also proved her worth with four gold medals in KL2017 –in women’s keirin, sprint, team sprint and 500m time trial — as well as a bronze in keirin at the Melbourne International Grand Prix in Australia and a good showing at the World Cup in Manchester.
Ace shuttler Datuk Lee Chong Wei, the 2016 Rio Olympics silver medallist, was named the male Olympian of the Year for 2016, while the diving darlings Cheong Jun Hoong and Pandelela Rinong, the silver medal winning pair in women’s 10m platform synchronised at Rio, were announced as joint winners in the female category at the ceremony held at the Tan Sri Hamzah Arena, OCM Indoor Sports Complex, here.
For Chong Wei, this was the third time was named Olympian of the Year, after 2008 and 2012.
At the ceremony, SportsUnite, a movement committed to junior sports development in the country since it was founded in 2007, was awarded the 2017 International Olympic Committee (IOC) Trophy — “Sport Beyond Borders”.
The event also saw 22 inductees in OCM‘s Hall of Fame, a recognition for outstanding retired athletes, sports officials and sports journalists and media personnel, aged 40 years and above.
Former sprinter and Olympian, Josephine Mary, former badminton great Wong Choong Hann, Nor Effandy Rosli (cycling) and Nurul Huda Baharin (shooting) are among the inductees for 2016, while the list for 2017 saw Annie Choong (athletics) and Datuk Wira Gan Boon Leong (body building) among others.
Datuk Norminshah Sabirin bagged the 2017 OCM Women and Sport Award while Rusni Abu Hassan emerged winner for 2016.
The Olympians of the Year received RM10, 000 and a medal each. Fatehah was not present as she is currently in training in Australia.
The prizes were given away by OCM deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Norza Zakaria.
Full list of recipients:
Olympian of the Year
2017: Welson Sim (Male) and Fatehah Mustapa (Female)
2016: Datuk Lee Chong Wei (Male) and Pandelela Rinong & Cheong Jun Hoong (Female)
OCM Women & Sport Award
2017: Datuk Norminshah Sabirin
2016: Rusni Abu Hassan
IOC Trophy 2017
Inductees to the OCM Hall of Fame
Retired National Officials
1. Datuk P. Krishnasamy (Cricket)
2. Datuk Dr Harjit Singh (Cricket)
Retired National Athletes
1. Annie Choong (Athletics)
2. Datuk Wira Gan Boon Leong (Body Building)
3. The Late M.C. Kailasapathy JP (Cricket)
4. S. Rajalingam (Cricket)
5. Datuk Dr Amarjit Singh (Cricket)
6. Ng Joo Pong (Cycling)
7. Hector Conrad Talalla (Cycling)
8. Omar Saad (Cycling)
Retired National Athletes
1. Josephine Mary (Athletics)
2. Wong Choong Hann (Badminton)
3. Nor Effandy Rosli (Cycling)
4. Nurul Huda Baharin (Shooting)
5. Kenny Ang (Tenpin Bowling)
6. Ben Heng (Tenpin Bowling)
7. The Late Toh Fook Hung (Weightlifting)
8. Thong Saw Pak (Weightlifting)
9. The Late Tan Kim Bee (Weightlifting)
10. Chung Kum Weng (Weightlifting)
11. KH Cheong (Weightlifting)
12. Muhammad Hidayat Hamidon (Weightlifting) — Bernama