Short track speed-skating star Wang Meng celebrates after winning the Best Female athlete of the Year award during the 2010 CCTV sports personality awarding ceremony in Beijing, Jan 16, 2010. [Photo/Xinhua]
BEIJING - Badminton player Lin Dan and Winter Olympic champion Wang Meng won the best male and female Athlete of the Year honors at the 2010 CCTV (China Central Television) sports personality awarding ceremony on Sunday.
The annual CCTV Sports Awards, recognized as the Chinese version of the Laureus World Sports Awards, is taken as the premier honors on the Chinese sporting calendar.
All of the titles came from the votes cast by 120 sports specialists.
Lin Dan beat out other four nominees, including Chinese superstar hurdler Liu Xiang, gymnast Chen Yibing, to claim the honor of the Best Male Athlete.
The 27-year-old Lin, also called "Super Dan", took home two Asiad golds in Guangzhou, finishing his season as the first badminton player in the world to have swept all the major international badminton titles.
As Lin was absent from the awarding ceremony in preparing for the upcoming Malaysia Open, his coach Li Yongbo received the award instead.
"It is the first sports personality award in 10 years for our badminton team. I believe that the one standing on the top podium of the London Olympics will still be Lin," said Li.
Wang Meng won the Best Female of the Year award ahead of her teammate Zhou Yang, tennis player Li Na, table tennis player Guo Yan and swimmer Zhao Jing.
The 25-year-old skater collected three golds at the Vancouver Winter Olympics, leading the Chinese team to win all the four golds from the women's short track speed-skating events. She was the first Chinese athlete to successfully defend a gold medal at the Winter Olympics.