National track cycling ace Datuk Mohd Azizulhasni Awang and wushu exponent Tan Cheong Min were named National Sportsman and Sportswoman at the 2019/2020 National Sports Awards tonight.

This is the fourth time that Azizulhasni, who created a sensation by bagging the silver medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, has been crowned National Sportsman. He previously won in 2009, 2010 and 2018.

Dubbed “The Pocket Rocketman”, he won several competitions throughout 2019-2020, including clinching bronze medals in keirin and sprint at the 2020 UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Berlin, Germany.

The former world champion also won gold in keirin in the fourth leg of the Track World Cup 2019, sprint gold in the Asian Cycling Championships for two consecutive years as well as a silver in keirin at the regional meet.

Azizulhasni beat the likes of Mohd Syahrul Azman Mahen Abdullah (bodybuilding), Khairul Anuar Mohamad (archery), Timmy Tan (tenpin bowling) and Wong Weng Son (wushu) to be crowned National Sportsman.

The 24-year-old has, thus, created history by becoming the first wushu exponent to be crowned National Sportswoman.

She beat a top-class field of nominees that included Datuk Pandelela Rinong Pamg (diving), Siti Zalina Ahmad (lawn bowls), Sin Li Jane (tenpin bowling) and Farah Ann Abdul Hadi (artistic gymnastics).

Azizulhasni and Cheong Min each received a trophy, blazer and RM20,000.

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah graced the star-studded ceremony that was held at a leading hotel.

Also present was Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob. Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu as well as national sports figures and champions also attended the awards ceremony.

Meanwhile, archer S. Suresh, who made Malaysia proud when he won the men’s recurve event at the 2019 World Para Archery Championships, was named the National Para Sportsman while no nominations were received for the National Para Sportswoman category this time.

Suresh took home a trophy and RM20,000.

The men’s bowling trio of Muhammad Rafiq Ismail, Ahmad Muaz Mohd Fishol and Muhammad Syafiq Ridhwan Abdul Malek won the National Men’s Team award while the National Women’s Team award went to the synchronised diving duo of Pandelela and Datuk Leong Mun Yee.

The ceremony tonight also recognised the contributions of para archery coach Marzuki Zakaria and lawn bowls coach Nor Hashimah Ismail when they were both named the National Men and Women’s Coaches respectively.

The Sports Figure award went to former Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) secretary-general Datuk Sieh Kok Chi.

Following is the list of winners at the 2019/2020 National Sports Awards (ASN):

National Sportsman: Datuk Mohd Azizulhasni Awang (cycling)

National Sportswoman: Tan Cheong Min (wushu)

National Paralympic Sportsman: S. Suresh (archery)

National Paralympic Sportswoman: No nominees

National Men’s Team: Tenpin Bowling trio Muhammad Rafiq Ismail, Ahmad Muaz Mohd Fishol, Muhammad Syafiq Ridhwan Abdul Malek

National Women’s Team: Synchronised diving duo Datuk Pandelela Rinong Pamg, Datuk Leong Mun Yee

National Men’s Coach: Marzuki Zakaria (para archery)

National Women’s Coach: Nor Hashimah Ismail (lawn bowls)

Sports Figure Award: Datuk Sieh Kok ChiSports Leadership Award: The late Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong, Datuk S. Vegiyathuman, Lieutenant Commander (Rtd) Kamaruzaman Kadir

Special Award: Perak State Hockey Association (Sultan Azlan Shah Cup), SK Lemoi, Famemas Sports Supporters Club Malaysia. — BERNAMA