Despite suffering a bout of poisoning, Pandelela (her FB nick is Lulu Dolphin) enjoys the limelight
Pandelela wins 100PLUS-SAM Awards 2010 Best Athlete crown
KUALA LUMPUR (March 6, 2011): National diver Pandelela Rinong received a belated birthday present when she was voted the Best Athlete in the 100PLUS-SAM Awards 2010 today.
The Sarawakian, who turned 18 on Wednesday, is the first diver to win the prestigious award which comes with a cash prize of RM10,000 and a trophy.
Pandalela made history by clinching the first-ever diving gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi last year when she defeated Olympic medal winners from Australia and Britain to win the women's 10m platform gold. Pandelela also won a silver medal with Leong Mun Yee in the synchronised 10m platform final.
Pandelela was the toast of the nation when she bagged two silver medals in the individual 3m springboard and 10m platform disciplines at the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in July last year. Her two silver medals made her the first Malaysian female to mount the podium at a multi-Games meet organised by the International Olympic Council.
She also marked her Asian Games debut with one silver in the synchronised 10m platform and one bronze medal in the individual discipline.
A stunned Pandelela, who was feeling under the weather, said: "I can't believe it. I honestly didn't expect to win the award as I was up against some great champions.
"This is a big honour for me and I hope to build on this success. My main goal is to do well at the World Championships in Shanghai in July as it is an Olympic qualifying event.
"The finalists (top 12) will earn a place in the London Olympics next year and that is my initial goal apart from trying to get a medal," added the Bidayuh.
The other nominess were five-time world squash champion Nicol David, world No. 1 shuttler Lee Chong Wei and Keirin king Azizulhasni Awang and shooter Nur Suryani Taibi.
Meanwhile, wushu exponent Yeap Wai Kin, who won two gold medals in the World Junior Championships was named Most Promising Athlete.
There were also several prizes for reporting with Astro Awani's Mohd Zulhelmi Zainal Azam winning the RM7,000 top prize.
List of winners
Best Athlete: Pandelela Rinong (Diving)
Most Promising Athlete: Yeap Wai Kin (Wushu)
Special Award from National Sports Association: Datuk Lee Chong Wei
Outdo Yourself Award: National football team (Suzuki Cup champions)
Best Report (Print): Wan Mohd Fakhrul Anwar (Kosmo!)
Best Report (Electronic): Ku Mohd Lufti Ku Yahya (RTM)
Best Commentary (Print): Rajes Paul (The Star)
Best Commentary (Eletronic): Rozihan Mohd Raji (RTM)
Best Photographer: Mazlan Samion (Bernama)
Best Special Report: Mohd Zulhelmi Zainal Azam (Astro Awani)
Best Reporter: Mohd Zulhelmi Zainal Azam (Astro Awani)
To the winning sportswriters/sportscasters, congratulations! Rozihan or Yan has bagged a double. Her docu Menggapai Harapan on the Thomas Cup was also adjudged the best sports programme in the recent Anugerah Seri Angkasa. The Star's Rajes Paul is getting bolder in her writings by the day, while Zulhelmi Zainal Azam's special report on the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury - arguably the most devastating injury for a footballer, deservedly won the top prize. Kosmo's Wan Fakhrul Bakar is already a respected football writer.
Read another feather in her cap and Rajes' hard-hitting piece and Wan Fakhrul's blog
From left Zulhelmi, Astro Awani sports editor Fadzrie Hazis and national team captain, Safiq Rahim. Zulhelmi was once a national futsal player under Brazilian coach Lula. Zulhelmi and Safiq were once team mates in the Selangor Under-19 squad.