Ma Long and Zhu Ting named Chinese sports stars of the year at CCTV awards gala

Chinese table tennis player Ma is named male athlete of the year at the annual China Central Television (CCTV) Sports Awards Gala as volleyball player Zhu is awarded best female gong

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 17 January, 2017, 12:08pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 17 January, 2017, 12:08pm

Chinese table tennis player Ma Long has been named male athlete of the year at the annual China Central Television (CCTV) Sports Awards Gala in Beijing with volleyball player Zhu Ting awarded the best female gong.

The awards were handed out at a star-studded ceremony in the Chinese capital on Sunday evening.

Unsurprisingly, the best coach award was given to volleyball head coach Lang Ping, who at Rio 2016 became the first person to claim Olympic gold as both a player and coach.

The national women’s volleyball team, who claimed gold in Rio last year, were named best team.

The 29-year-old Ma beat off competition from Rio Olympics 200-metre freestyle swimming champion Sun Yang and badminton star Chen Long to take the award.

China's Ma Long wins his first men's singles title at World Table Tennis Championships

Zhu picked up the award after being nominated for a second straight year. She was integral to China’s push for gold in Rio and was named MVP at the Rio tournament.

“The year of 2016 was full of happiness and unforgettable for me,” said Zhu via videolink from her home in Turkey, where she plays for Vakifbank Club in the Turkish volleyball league. “I wanted to say thanks to our coach, our team and our fans. I will be better in 2017.”

Volleyball visionary: coach Lang Ping worth her weight in gold – and more

Two-time Olympic gold medallist Zou Shiming, who claimed the WBO flyweight world title in 2016, won the best non-Olympic athlete award.