SINGAPORE - Olympic swimming champion Joseph Schooling is in line to win his fifth consecutive Sportsman of the Year accolade, and sixth overall, after he was among three finalists for the 2019 Singapore Sports Awards, released by the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) on Tuesday (April 30).
The reigning Olympic men's 100m champion won the men's 50m and 100m butterfly titles at the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia, along with two bronzes in the relays, and is nominated alongside now-retired paddler Gao Ning and silat world champion Sheik Farhan Sheik Alau'ddin.
Gao, 36, won the men's singles and the mixed doubles titles at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games last year, and is now the men's national coach, while Sheik Farhan were among seven Singaporeans to clinch gold at the 18th World Pencak Silat Championship last year on home ground.
If the 23-year-old Schooling is given the nod again this year, he will join former paddler Li Jiawei and former swimmer Patricia Chan as the only athletes to win the main two accolades of the Singapore Sports Awards five times in a row.
Li won the Sportswoman of the Year gong between 2002 and 2005, while Chan won the top female athlete award from 1968 to 1972.
Meanwhile, Roanne Ho (swimming) Nurzuhairah Mohd Yazid (silat), Vera Tan (wushu) and Martina Veloso (shooting) are nominated for the Sportswoman of the Year accolade.
Also, Helmi Chew (bowling), Andrey Klyushin (fencing), Sheik Alau'ddin Yacoob Marican (silat) and Gary Tan (swimming) are named the finalists of the Coach of the Year award.
In addition, The Straits Times' Muhammad Sazali Abdul Aziz and Nicole Chia are among five finalists for the Sports Journalist of the Year gong, while ST's Lim Yaohui's picture of bowler Muhammad Jaris Goh at the Asian Games is nominated for the Best Sports Photo of the Year award.
Organised by the SNOC and Sport Singapore, and supported by the Tote Board Group, the awards will be held on May 14.
The main awards selection committee was chaired by Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Speaker of Parliament and President of the SNOC while Mrs Jessie Phua, vice-president of the SNOC, chaired the selection committee for the Sportsboy/Sportsgirl awards.
Awards organising chairman Abdul Halim Abdul Kader said: "Last year, for the first time, Team Singapore participated in four major Games within a year. There were many breakthrough performances marked not only at the major Games but also at other major championships.
"We look forward to celebrating with them and also recognising the Singapore sports fraternity's achievements on May 14."
Sportsman of the Year: Gao Ning (table tennis), Joseph Isaac Schooling (swimming), Sheik Farhan Sheik Alau'ddin (silat)
Sportswoman of the Year: Roanne Ho (swimming), Nurzuhairah Mohd Yazid (silat), Vera Tan (wushu), Martina Lindsay Veloso (shooting)
Sportsboy of the Year: Daniel Hung (sailing), Malcolm Lai (wushu), Muhammad Hazim Mohd Yusli (silat)
Sportsgirl of the Year: Amita Berthier (fencing), Isabel Chua (wushu), Jaslyn Hooi (badminton), Constance Lien (jiu-jitsu), Kyra Poh (indoor skydiving), Quah Jing Wen (swimming)
Coach of the Year: Helmi Chew (bowling), Andrey Klyushin (fencing), Sheik Alau'ddin Yacoob Marican (silat), Gary Tan (swimming)
Team of the Year (team sport): floorball men's team, traditional boat women's team, water polo men's team
Team of the Year (event): bowling men's team (World Men Bowling Championships), contract bridge men's team (Asian Games), silat artistic women ganda doubles pair (World Pencak Silat Championship)
Sportsboy/Sportsgirl Team of the Year (Event): indoor skydiving dynamic two-way team (FAI World Cup of Indoor Skydiving), shooting women's junior 10m air rifle team (ISSF Junior World Cup)
Best Sports Event of the Year (Local): Great Eastern Women's Run, M1 Asian Netball Championships, Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon
Best Sports Event of the Year (International): Fina Swimming World Cup 2018 Presented by
Yakult, HSBC Singapore Rugby Sevens, HSBC Women's World Championship
Sports Journalist of the Year: Muhammad Sazali Abdul Aziz (The Straits Times), Nicole Chia (The Straits Times), Kimberly Kwek (The New Paper), Matthew Mohan (Channel NewsAsia Digital), Dilenjit Singh (The New Paper)
Best Sports Photo of the Year: Lim Yaohui (The Straits Times), Lim Swee Chin Eric, Lim Weixiang, Lim Yong Teck, Dyan Kusuma Eka Putri