These two athletes beat Datuk Lee Chong Wei and Pandelela Rinong for the winning titles at last night’s National Sports Awards 2016
Following after the Olympic Games and Rio Paralympics last year, it'd have been rather tough to pick out the winners for this year's National Sports Awards. But as it turned out, it really wasn't.
The 2016 National Sportsman of the Year went to Rio Paralympics gold medallist Abdul Latif Romly, becoming the first parathlete to win the award, whereas silat exponent Siti Rahmah Mohamed Nasir won National Sportswoman.
While the 20-year-old was surprised with his win, many might disagree since he did break the world record three times on his way to bagging a gold medal for Malaysia in the T20 (learning disability) men's long jump at the Rio Paralympics. He currently holds the world record of 7.60m.
"No one knew me before the Rio Games. Today everyone knows me. This award will inspire other paralympians and show the world we are at par with able-bodied athletes. The win also makes me more determined to contribute more gold in the 2020 Paralympics," he said.
There was some tough competition for the National Sportswoman award as well as Siti Rahmah beat 2015 winner Pandelela Rinong (diving), world champion Lilian Tan (bodybuilding), Sin Li Jane (bowling) and Siti Zalina Ahmad (lawn bowls).
The 30-year-old had a perfect season last year, having won all four competitions she participated in which included the World Championships in Bali.
Both Abdul Latif and Siti Rahmah received RM20,000, a trophy and a certificate each.The awards were presented by the newly-installed Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V at the ceremony yesterday.