Cyclist Fatehah Mustapa won the women’s Olympian of the Year award for her strong performance at the KL Games. She bagged the prestigious Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) annual award for her four-gold stellar performance at the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games last August.

Fatehah took part in four different categories – women’s keirin, women’s sprint, women’s team sprint and women’s time trial 500m – and won all four, making her the first cyclist to win four gold medals at the SEA Games.

Fatehah Mustapa (center) became the first cyclist to win 4 gold medals in a single SEA Games edition. (KL2017)

The Women and Sport award went to Datuk Norminshah Sabirin for being the vocal voice in fighting for the rights of women athletes and raising the profile of women in sports. The former Malaysian Netball Association (MNA) president also served as the country’s first woman chef de mission at the 2003 Hanoi SEA Games.

Meanwhile, Welson Sim won the men’s Olympian of the Year award for winning the 200m and 400m freestyle races, and also breaking the meet records.

The Sarawak-born Welson retained his 400m freestyle title in 3:50.26. He also beat Vietnam’s defending champion Hoang Quy Phuoc to the 200m freestyle gold medal in 1:47.76. Fittingly, he was also named the Best Male Athlete for the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.

Buoyed by the recognition, the sole swimmer in the Podium Programme intends to raise the bar at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, in April and the Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia in August.

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