KUALA LUMPUR: The nation’s top line-up of the country’s top performers last year will receive the highest honours at the National Sports Awards (ASN) 2018 which is scheduled to take place at a leading hotel in the country’s capital tonight.
The annual agenda organised by the National Sports Council (MSN) will be attended by Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah.
This time, MSN received 65 nominations from the national sports association (NSA), the Olympic Council of Malaysia (MOM) and the Malaysian Paralympic Council (MPM).
After a thorough selection process, five men have been shortlisted for the national Sportsman’s award while five others will compete for the title of Sportswoman of the Year for 2018.
The candidates for the national Sportsman are cycling athletes, Mohd Azizulhasni Awang, Mohd Nafizwan Mohd Adnan (squash), Mohd Rafiq Ismail (tenpin bowling), Mohd Syarul Azman Mahen (bodybuilding) and Mohd Fauzi Kaman Shah (sailing).
For the category of national Sportswoman, the candidates are S. Sivasangari (squash), Siti Zalina AqAhmad (bowling), Siti Safiyah Amirah Abdul Rahman (tenpin bowling), Tan Li Lian (bodybuilder) and athlete athlete, Amy Kwan Dict Weng .
On paper, national bowling, Rafiq and Amy Kwan are seen to have a chance but they have to compete with several other candidates who have also made international excellence in their respective events over the past year.
If based on last year’s achievement, Rafiq has placed himself in his own class more after his success helped the national bowling squad to win gold at the Men’s World Cup bowling tournament in Hong Kong at the end of last year.
It was the most prestigious achievement after the country’s last squad won it in the 1979 edition.
In addition to his success, Rafiq also had a splendid appearance in the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia, last August which saw him win gold men’s masters.
To reinforce Rafiq’s position, he also received the best athletic awards at the Malaysian Sports Writers Association (SAM) Award Ceremony two weeks ago.
However, it is not a guarantee for Rafiq to hold the National Athlete because the achievements of other candidates are also not that less great. All decisions are in the hands of qualified jurors who will make every decision to determine the most qualified candidates for the 2018 Athletes.
Among the athletes who have seen potential termizers Azizulhasni Awang as well as squash players, Nafizwan. For the national Sportswoman category, all shortlisted candidates have a fairly balanced performance and have made a ‘headache’ jury to determine the winner
Three athletes are seen as potential Amy Kwan (gimrama), Siti Safiyah (tenpin bowling) and Siti Zalina (bowling).
They have featured their own class in several international tournaments throughout the year including the Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games.
Siti Safiyah has contributed gold through the trio at the Asian Games last year and won silver in the team event. Siti Zalina is a gold medallist for the country’s contingent at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in pairs as well as gold at the Asian Field Bowling tournament in Henan, China.
They will be fiercely competitive with Amy Kwan who has created a surprise at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
She came home giving gold for the country contingent through a ribbon event other than a silver medal in a team event.
However, the jury has its own discretion to determine who is more qualified to hold the 2018 Sportswoman.
As usual, ASN offers eleven categories of awards namely National Sportsman and Sportswoman, National Para Sportsman and National Para Sportswoman, National Men’s and Women’s Team, National Men’s and Women’s Coach, Sports Personality Award, Sports Leadership and Special Award.
The ASN, introduced since 1966, is the highest government recognition to appreciate the outstanding achievements throughout the years achieved by athletes, coaches, officials and sports organisations.
It acts as a motivation and motivation for national sports players to further enhance their performance.