Kuala Lumpur: Ace India boxer Mary Kom and South Korean football star Son Heung-Min and have been named the Best Asian Female and Male Athletes, respectively, at the first-ever ‘Awards for Asia ceremony organised by the Asian Sportswriters Union (AIPS Asia).
The Chief Minister of Selangor, Y.A.B. Tuan Haji Amirudin Shari, gave away the trophies to the winners' representatives from various countries. AIPS Asia, the organisation representing sportswriters in Asia since 1978, announced the winners at the end of the Selangor International Sports Summit which was a collaboration with the state of Selangor, located on the west coast of Malaysia.
Six-time world champion Mary Kom picked up the Best Female Athlete Award following her exploits in the Asian women's boxing scene. The 36-year-old flyweight boxer is the only woman boxer to have won a medal in seven world championships.
Son Heung-Min, the 26-year-old South Korean international and Tottenham Hotspur star, is currently the leading Asian player plying his trade in the prestigious English Premier League. Since starting his career with FC Seoul in 2008, Son moved to Hamburger SV and Bayer Leverkusen before signing with Tottenham in 2015. Last year he led the South Korean team to Asian Games gold medal.
The Best Asian Male Team Award went to the Qatar national football team, which won the latest edition of Asian Cup.
The team had a great, conceding only one goal enroute the final where they defeated Japan. It was the team's first-ever major title. The team will be participating in the 2022 FIFA World Cup which Qatar will host.
Meanwhile, Japan's women's football team, winner of the 2011 Women's World Cup and runners-up in 2015, won the Best Asian Female Team award.