Li and Liu headline awards nominees

Updated: 2011-12-16 07:38

By Lei Lei (China Daily)

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Li and Liu headline awards nominees

Li Na (left) and Liu Xiang lead the 2011 Sports Personality of the Year awards. [Provided to China Daily]

BEIJING - Chinese sports superstars Li Na and Liu Xiang lead the 2011 CCTV Sports Personality of the Year awards' list, which was announced on Thursday.

French Open tennis champion Li, who claimed China's first Grand Slam championship, is among five candidates for Female Athlete of the Year. The other four are all world champions: Jiao Liuyang (women's 200m butterfly, swimming), Li Yanfeng (women's discus), Wu Minxia (diving) and Deng Ning (table tennis, women's singles).

On the men's side, star hurdler Liu was nominated due to his strong comeback showing at the Athletics World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, where he claimed the silver medal after being hampered by a foot injury for almost three years.

The other four male nominees are Lin Dan (badminton), Chen Yibing (gymnastics), Sun Yang (swimming) and Zhang Jike (table tennis).

In other categories, newly-crowned women's 500m short track speed skating world champion Fan Kexin and young weightlifting world champion Tian Yuan lead the Newcomer of the Year nominees.

For the Best Team award, China's diving squad, badminton side, men's table tennis and gymnastics teams and women's volleyball side are the candidates.

The coaches of these team - except diving - are also candidates for Coach of the Year.

Two-time chess world champion Hou Yifan and China's snooker ace, Ding Junhui, are among the leading nominees in non-Olympic sports.

Regarded as China's "Sports Oscars", the awards honor the most outstanding groups and individuals each year.

This year's awards, the 11th edition of the event, have 11 categories, including Male Athlete of the Year, Female Athlete of the Year, Team of the Year, Coach of the Year and Non-Olympic Athlete of the Year.

The nominees' list, which features five candidates in each category, is voted for by 268 judges from the media.

The winners will be announced on Jan 15.

China Daily