The Astro Arena team took home three awards from the 2019 Sportswriters Association of Malaysia (SAM) Awards held on Tuesday.
By Ahmad Khawari Isa, Vice-President, AIPS Asia
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept. 1, 2020: ‘The Curse of the Belly Flop’, the special report depicting the fate of Malaysia’s young diver, Joey Loh Zhiayi, who almost lost her eyesight after a ‘belly flop’ mishap in 2017, was announced as the overall winner at the Sportswriters Association of Malaysia (SAM)-100Plus Awards Ceremony here on Tuesday.
The special report was first announced as the ‘Best Special Report’ for the electronic media category before it beat five other category winners to bag the most prestigious ‘Siebel Award’ as the overall best.
Astro Arena’s Wan Norbazly Azmi (journalist) and Azri Abdul Malik (cameraman), creators of the winning entry received RM7,000 as prize money for the ‘Siebel Award’, RM3,000 for the ‘Best Special Report’ and trophies. This latest win completes a hattrick for Wan Norbazly who received the same accolades in 2016 and 2017.
The report was about a ‘belly flop’ mishap - a dive in which a person hits the water flat on their stomach or abdomen. The same report was shortlisted in the Top 30 of AIPS Sport Media Awards 2019 under the ‘Short Feature’ category.
The guest of honour for the ceremony, Malaysia’s Sports Minister, Datuk Seri Reezal Meerican, was on hand to present awards to the winners of the top categories.
The awards ceremony was the first to be organised since the Malaysian government imposed a Movement Control Order due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and it was held in strict compliance with the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) as instructed by Malaysia’s Health Ministry.
Malaysia’s sports channel, Astro Arena, was the biggest winner at the Awards as it also claimed the ‘Best Sports Review’ in the electronic media category, thanks to the entry of Zulhelmi Zainal Azam (journalist) and Syafiq Sufian (cameraman).
SAM members voted for 2016 Olympic bronze medallist in cycling, Azizulhasni Awang, as the ‘Best Athlete 2019’ while powerlifter Bonnie Bunyau was voted as ‘Best Paralympic Athlete 2019’.
FULL LIST OF WINNERS:
Best Athlete: Azizul Hasni Awang (Track Cycling)
Best Para Athlete: Bonnie Bunyau Anak Gustin (Powerlifting)
Best News Report (Print Media): Aida Adilah Mat (Harian Metro)
Best News Report (Electronic Media): Shah Putra Taib Ahmad/Abdul Halim Mohd Yusoff (RTM)
Best Sports Review (Print Media): Mohd Firdaus Mohd Hashim (Harian Metro)
Best Sports Review (Electronic Media): Mohd Zulhelmi Zainal Alam (Astro Arena)
Best Special Report (Open): Wan Norbazly Wan Azmi/Azri Abd Malik (Astro Arena)
Best Sports Photograph: Mohd Khairol Rizal Buhari (CNS Sports Talk)
Siebel Award: Wan Norbazly Wan Azmi/Azri Abd Malik (Astro Arena)