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Joseph Schooling crowned Sportsman of the Year for third time

Shayna Ng was named Sportswoman of the year, while Joey Yeo and Quah Zheng Wen were awarded the titles of Sportsgirl and Sportsboy of the Year respectively at the Singapore Sports Awards 2016.

Joseph Schooling crowned Sportsman of the Year for third time

Joseph Schooling at the 2015 FINA World Championships in Kazan. (Photo: Christophe Simon / AFP)

SINGAPORE: Swimmer Joseph Schooling won big yet again at the Singapore Sports Awards 2016 on Thursday (Jun 23), bagging the Sportsman of the Year award for the third time.

Organised by the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) and Sport Singapore (SportSG), the Singapore Sports Awards gave recognition to the best local athletes and officials in a banner year for local sport that saw unprecedented success in the 2015 Southeast Asian Games.

Schooling was first crowned Sportsman of the Year in 2012, and at the age of 16 he was the youngest athlete to be given the title. For this year's awards, Schooling was up against sailing's Colin Cheng, table tennis player Gao Ning and canoeist Mervyn Toh.

Last year, the reigning Sportsman of the Year, now 21, bagged nine golds at the 28th SEA Games and was the first Singaporean to win a medal at the World Championships, clinching a bronze in the 100-metre butterfly event in Kazan.

Speaking from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where he is currently based for a training camp with the national team, Schooling said it was an honour to win the award.

"I just want to thank my family, my friends, everyone who has been there with me on this tough journey ... I wish I could be there to celebrate this time with you all."

Earning the title of Sportswoman of the Year was bowler 27-year-old Shayna Ng. Reigning Sportswoman of the Year shooter Jasmine Ser was also nominated for the award alongside paddler Feng Tianwei and canoeist Stephenie Chen.

"The wins by bowling tonight show that the sport has come a really long way," said Ng, who took gold at the World Women's Bowling Championships in Abu Dhabi last December.

She added: "More and more bowlers are winning accolades now. Bowling is moving in the right direction ... it’s a pity that we’re not an Olympic sport."

Bowler Joey Yeo clinched the Sportsgirl of the Year title, and swimmer Quah Zheng Wen, who was the most bemedalled athlete at the 28th SEA Games last year, was named Sportsboy of the Year.

When asked about how she is planning to celebrate her Sportsgirl of the Year award, Yeo said she will be giving her family a good treat "because I really owe this victory to them".

"It's a big night for bowling and I'm really very happy," added the 18-year-old, who clinched the women’s singles title at the inaugural Bowling World Open last July.

Quah, who like Schooling was also in Florida training for the Rio Olympics, said he was sorry not to be in Singapore to receive the award. "It really warms my heart to receive this award," the 19-year-old said in his videotaped thank you speech.

Two Special Awards were given out this year. The first was to recognise rhythmic gymnastics coach Zhu Xiaoping for her dedication to train the group-all round team to their first-ever SEA Games gold, despite suffering from colon cancer.

The other Special Award went to marathoner Ashley Liew, for his sportsmanship during the 2016 SEA Games full marathon when he gave up his temporary lead to guide his rivals who got lost during their race.

The Singapore netball team was named the Team of the Year, while national swimming coach Sergio Lopez Miro retained his title as Coach of the Year.

The Great Eastern Women's Run 2015 was named Best Sports Event of the Year (Local). For the International category, BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore won for the second year running.

Source: CNA/mz


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