KUALA LUMPUR: It was a memorable day for world No. 1 men’s singles shuttler Lee Chong Wei and coach Misbun Sidek when they bagged the top prizes at the 2008 National Sports Award ceremony here yesterday.
The 28-year-old Chong Wei was named as the best sportsman while Misbun lifted the best male coach award.
Chong Wei, however, was not present at the award ceremony and his father, Lee Ah Chai, received the trophy and RM10,000 on his behalf from the King.
Chong Wei is in Hyderabad for the Indian Open beginning tomorrow and he is aiming to win his first back-to-back title outside of Malaysia. He scored a sensational win over Lin Dan of China last week to win the Swiss Open title.
The other nominees who Chong Wei beat to the award yesterday were Mohd Azizul Hasni Awang (cycling), Zulmazran Zulkifli (bowling), Safuan Said (lawn bowls), Cheng Chu Sian (archery) and Lee Hup Wei (athletics). His outstanding run last year included a silver medal-winning effort at the Beijing Olympics in August.
It was the second time Chong Wei won the national award after 2005.
“It’s nice to win the award again. This time, it is more special because my coach is also one of the winners,” said Chong Wei in a telephone interview from Hyderabad.
“This will spur me to achieve more good results for Malaysia in badminton. My main goal this year is the world championships (in India from Aug 11-16).”