These outstanding sportsmen became the best of all athletes in their country last year :
Albania: Erkland Qerimaj és Romela Begaj
Belarus : Andrei Aramnau
Ecuador: Alexandra Escobar
Germany.: Matthias Steiner
Vietnam: Hoang Anh-Tuan
Korea : actually, there was no voting organized by jounalists for best sportsmen of.the country.But Korea Sports Council (Korean Olympic Committee)
announced The best sportsmen of Korea for 2008 as follows.
o Women: Ms. Jang Mi-ran(Weightlifting)
o Men: Mr. Park Tae-Hwan(Swimming, 2008 Beijing Olympic Gold Medalist)
(No information on North Korea, Thailand, Kazakhstan voting.)
Mi-Ran & Qingquan the Best lifters of Asia
JANG Mi -Ran (Korea) +75kg lifter in a hard competition with her rivals, could allocate the title to be the best Asian woman lifter in 2008. She had succeeded to show considerable progress in comparison to 2004 Athens Olympic, could improve the records of Olympic for 7 times and the world records for 5 times in her category. Mi-Ran, in the Asian Interclub Championships held in Go Yang, Korea, by reaping the three gold medals, was determined as the best woman lifter.
All Asian men lifters, who had achieved the gold medal were enough adequate to be nominated as the best lifter of the year, but at last, among the Chinese Long Qingquan, the Korean SA Jae-Hyouk, The Chinese LU Yong and the Kazak ILIN Ilya, lfinally the points of LONG Qingquan (China, 56kg category) overcame other rivals’ points with a little difference and was known as the best of Asia. He is considered as the youngest Olympic Champion in weightlifting history.
Barbados : Ivorn Mcknee is Sports personality of the year
Barbados’ Sports Personality for 2008 is Ivorn McKnee, a gold medalist at last year’s Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships.
Chairman of the National Sports Council (NSC), Henry Inniss, announced that after much deliberation, Mr. McKnee, who had an outstanding year which culminated with a gold medal winning performance in Cyprus in December, had been selected.
“What made Ivorn’s performance even more outstanding were the conditions under which weightlifting has struggled over the years in Barbados. Against the odds, Ivorn prevailed and has given hope to athletes from minor sports that through commitment and hard work they can excel,” he said.
“I think it is critical that people understand that this National Sports Council … can think outside the box and look at individuals who in other circumstances might not have reached the level that they have attained. Obviously the Sports Personality of the Year is the major award to be announced.” – Chairman of the NSC’s Awards Committee, Andrew Sealy told reporters.
He pointed out that the Board was very pleased with Mr. McKnee’s performance, especially since weightlifting had operated under difficult circumstances over the years. “In fact, the board has taken a decision that we are going to work very closely with the Amateur Weightlifting Association over the next few years, because we feel that the Barbados Amateur Weightlifting Association has a particularly good product and some good athletes that can take Barbados forward,” Mr. Sealy stated.
The Chairman explained that a car was given to the Sports Personality of the Year because “we really wanted to give the award prominence”.
Commonwealth weightlifting champion Ivorn McKnee was the national sports personality of the year, taking the grand prize of a Suzuki Swift, compliments Simpson Motors.
McKnee was known in the late nineties for representing Barbados at the junior level in shot put. However his love for strength training made him try out with weightlifting. That was a mere four years ago and just two years into taking up the sport McKnee placed eighth at the 2006 Commonwealth Games. McKnee would go onto to take Gold at the 2007 Pan Am Games and would return to the Commonwealth Games in 2008 to finally capure the gold medal.
The Barbados Weightlifting Association also walked away with the Association For Achievement Award as well as the Coach of the Year award, which was awarded to Andrew Callender.
Manueli Tulo, the 18 years old weightlifter from Fiji, who won the 56kg category gold medal at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Pune, India, won the Sportsman of the Year in Fiji. It was the first time that a weightlifter has won a prestigious award in Fiji such as this. He unfortunately was not able to receive his award because he was in New Caledonia training at the Oceania Weightlifting Institute. Kevan Gosper, IOC member and past IOC Vice President, was the guest speaker at
the awards night.
14 year old weightlifter Zoe Smith has been voted 2008 “Athlete of the Year” in her sport by the British Olympic Association. This title is usually reserved for Olympic medallists, but she was given the award after taking gold at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Pune, India.