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Karateka Ricky Leong voted Sportsman of the year

Ricky Leong (second from right). Source: Lily Chau, Facebook

It’s Ricky & Fatin

22nd October, 2015

KOTA KINABALU: Karateka Ricky Leong Tze Wai and woman archer Fatin Nurfatehah Mat Salleh were named as the Best Sportsman and Best Sportswoman respectively at the prestigious 2013-2014 State Sports Awards last night.

For Ricky, this was the second consecutive time to receive the award for his numerous international feats, while for Fatin, this was her first major state award for her marksmanship at national and international championships. Both athletes walked home with RM5,000 and a blazer each, certificates, trophies and pewter.

The glittering State Sports Awards night was graced by the Head of State Tun Haji Juhar Haji Mahiruddin in the presence of the Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Tawfiq Abu Bakar Titingan and his Assistant Masiung Banah and Permanent Secretary Datuk Suzannah Liaw.

Suzannah, as the chairperson for the Panel of Judges announced the winners of all the various categories at the function held at the Magellan Sutera Resort, attended by all the respective sports associations’ officials, coaches and athletes.

The 28-year-old kata specialist, Ricky was named as the Best Sportsman with a long list of international achievements during the period to beat seven other recipients based on his overall individual feats.

Among his best achievements that have brought pride and honour to Sabah and the country in particular were his gold medal feats at the 2013 WKF Premier League in Indonesia, Pra Sea Games in Myanmar, SEA Games (team) in Myanmar, 22nd 2014 WKF Meet in Japan and National meet in Perak among the few.

The other recipients nominated by their respective sports associations were Mohd Hamzaruddin Nordin (artistic gymnastics); Christian Chin (tennis); Constantine Clement Awos (weightlifting); Tan Wee Kiong (badminton); Lee Kin Lip (archery); Adam Nicholas Lindbichler (fencing) and Farlin Veroney Frederick (karate).

As for Fatin, she beat three other nominees namely, swimmer Chui Lai Kwan, fencer Laura Simon and karateka Vellenda Agustine.

Fatin was the choice of the panel members based on her numerous international feats during the two-year period, where she grabbed two gold medals (individual and team) at the Asian Grand Prix in Thailand, qualified for the World Archery Championship in Turkey, Asean University Games in Indonesia and various national championships. Another junior archer Roniza Syafiqah Binte Ronnie Ong@Rosli and diver Jellson Jabillin emerged as the winners for the 2013-2014 Most Promising Girl and Boy athletes respectively.

Roniza’s best achievements was in last year’s Sukma in Perlis, where she broke the games record in the Girls’ Individual Olympic Round and added another gold medal for herself in the 30m (compound) and powered Sabah to the gold medal in the team event.

She has since been very consistent in several national junior meets including golden feats at National University Championships.

She was named as the Most Promising Girl athlete, beating 10 other nominees namely, Nur Ain Binti Nadzmi (diving); Kamisah Binti Khamis (sepak takraw); Nurul Ain Bte Sohrab (pencak silat); Cairola Chevery Wong Yee Ying (karate); Nur Aishah Binti Rose Ramlee (sailing); Jessica Keng Jia Hui (squash); Elly Casscandra Engeibert (weightlifting); Nur Fathiha Osman (taekwando); Siti Solehah Binti Halim (lawn bowls); and Natahsya Soon (cycling). After failing to find a suitable candidate for the Tokoh Sukan Award for two consecutive years, however, this year, the panel after lengthy deliberation found a candidate from the sport of archery. The deserving nominee was Sabah Archery Association (SAA) president Datuk Haji Zainie Abdul Aucasa.

State weightlifting coach Stephen Gompion was selected as The Best Coach, while the Sports Leadership Award was awarded to the Sabah Lawn Bowls Association president Ladislaus Maluda.

The Men’s and Women’s Best Team Awards went to the State rugby team for their National Agong’s Cup title and women’s sepak takraw team for their golden feat during the last Sukma respectively. Sabah Rugby Union (SRU) was awarded the Best Sports Association Award.

The panel also decided to award deserving sports officials with the Special Awards namely, the late Peter Rajah (goalkeeper); late Andrew Voon; Spencer Soo (OKU); and Pang Chee Khiong (basketball), Velayuthan Tan (rugby). Meanwhile, Al Mustakim Matrin and Doriah Paulus were named as the Sportsman and Sportswoman for the Paralympic category.

They each received RM3,000 plus trophies. Arfandi Jaafar from Borneo Post, Ho Chih Wei of See Hua Daily News and Roszlan Bin Hussain walked home with the Best Sports reporter awards for English, Chinese and Electronic Media respectively. They received RM1,000 each plus certificates.

The other award recipients also received cash, certificates, trophies and pewter. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman said that this prestigious sports awards is being organised to show the government’s recognition and appreciation towards athletes who have donned the state as well as the country proud.

He said through this sports award, it is also hoped that it could help motivate state athletes to strive harder in seeking greater achievement in the near future.

It also also aimed at creating spirit among youngsters to be active in sporting activities. Overall, Musa said he was satisfied with Sabah’s athletes performances, who have done well for Sabah as well as for the nation, including at the last SEA Games in Singapore where nine Sabah athletes have contributed gold medals for Malaysia.

Musa revealed the government, through Youth and Sports Ministry, is in the midst of doing Sports Development Strategic Planning for 2016-2030, which will be used as a guidelines in ushering Sabah sports to a new level in the future.

News source: New Sabah Times,