Olympic champs compete for top sports awards
By Lei Lei ( China Daily )
By winning 38 gold medals, 27 silver and 23 bronze at the London Olympics, the Chinese Olympians achieved their best result at an away Games this year. Now, back at home, those Olympic heroes will compete for more glory at the CCTV Sports Personality of the Year awards ceremony.
Regarded as China's "Sports Oscars", the awards, which honor the most outstanding groups and individuals in sports each year, were launched by the organizers last Saturday in the coastal city of Qingdao, Shandong province.
Olympic swimming champion Sun Yang and table tennis men's gold medalist Zhang Jike will compete for Male Athlete of the Year. On the women's side, world record holding swimmer Ye Shiwen, Olympic sailing champion Xu Lijia and table tennis gold medal winner Li Xiaoxia are strong contenders for Female Athlete of the Year, The women's epee team, which claimed the first gold medal for China in the event, will be a strong contender for Best Team of the Year.
Other awards will go to Coach of the Year, Non-Olympic Athlete of the Year, Newcomer of the Year and Athlete with Disabilities of the Year.
The competition for awards is always fierce in an Olympic year.
"China sports gained a lot in 2012, the Olympic year, so it produced solid candidates for the awards," said Jiang Heping, director of CCTV sports channel.
"Of course, the glory also made it very difficult for the judges to choose the final winners. Winning such awards will further prove that the achievements gained by those athletes, who emerged from such fierce competitions, are significant."
The first round of the selection process will be completed by the middle of December, when the final five nominees for each category will be decided. The winners will be announced on Jan 13.
(China Daily 09/27/2012 page24)