Silat world champion Hazim Yusli did not expect to win the Sportsboy of the Year award at the Singapore Sports Awards last night, but he is certain of his next target: a gold medal at the year-end SEA Games in the Philippines.
"I'm feeling really overwhelmed because I didn't expect it. I'm very happy but also speechless," said the 17-year-old. "The award gives me a boost as I can buy more equipment to help me in training."
Hazim, who won the Class B gold medal at the World Pencak Silat Championships and the Class D title at the World Junior Pencak Silat Championships last year, edged out Daniel Hung (sailing) and Malcolm Lai (wushu) to the accolade.
Hazim was one of three winners representing silat.
The women's artistic doubles pair of Nur Azlyana Ismail and Nurhanishah Shahrudin won the Team of the Year (event), while Singapore Silat Federation chief executive Sheik Alau'ddin received the Coach of the Year award.
The doubles pair, who won their first world title at last year's world meet in Singapore, pipped the 2018 Asian Games contract bridge team and the men's team at the World Bowling Championships.
Nurhanishah said the award will motivate them ahead of August's national championships.
The 20-year-old said: "We were nervous because it's the first time we were nominated in this category but, after hearing our names called, we knew we did it."
Sheik praised his athletes and hoped the three awards will encourage more people to take up silat.
He said: "Credit to them for all their hard work. This will give them a boost to work harder. This will also be a trigger for young ones and parents to send their kids to practise silat.
"It also shows the older ones that they have to work harder because there are a lot of younger ones coming up behind them and wanting to be like them. But they just have to continue doing their best and the rest will be taken care of."