YOG champs Bernie and Samantha crowned joint-winners of ST Star of the Month award

Fresh from last month's historic gold medal wins at the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games, sailors Bernie Chin and Samantha Yom bagged new honours on Friday - by becoming the first-ever joint winners of The Straits Times Star of the Month award. -- PH
Fresh from last month's historic gold medal wins at the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games, sailors Bernie Chin and Samantha Yom bagged new honours on Friday - by becoming the first-ever joint winners of The Straits Times Star of the Month award. -- PHOTO: EDWARD TEO FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Fresh from last month's historic gold medal wins at the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games (YOG), sailors Bernie Chin and Samantha Yom bagged new honours on Friday - by becoming the first-ever joint winners of The Straits Times Star of the Month award.

The award had previously been given out to honour the most outstanding sporting achievement of the month. But after the 15-year-olds struck gold in their respective Byte CII events at the Nanjing Games last month, even rules needed to be bent a little.

Said ST sports editor Marc Lim, who heads a selection committee which picked the winners: "It was impossible to choose between two outstanding sailors who both delivered at the highest level. So we decided that it was only right that both Bernie and Samantha should be rewarded. We felt that since they wrote history, we too would do the same, and crown joint champions for the first time."

The duo were lauded for the Nanjing feats at a lunch reception yesterday, which was hosted by the award's sponsors 100Plus. The F&N isotonic drink has been backing both the ST Star of the Month and the ST Athlete of the Year since 2008.

Said Raffles Institution student Bernie of his win: "It was always a dream to win a medal for Singapore, let alone gold, so it felt really great. I couldn't have done it without the support of my parents, school teachers, coaches and the Singapore Sailing Federation."

Added Samantha, a Secondary Three student at Raffles Girls' School: "It feels really great to have won something so meaningful at the YOG but this award should go to the people around Bernie and I who helped make our success a reality over the years.

"Bernie and I may be the ones with the medals around our necks but it's people like our parents, for their support and dedication, coaches and the Singapore Sailing Federation who should get an award like this."