Hong Kong Sports Institute

Snooker ace Ng On-yee in the box seat to be named Hong Kong sportsperson of the year; Sarah Lee and Siobhan Haughey also in the running

New women’s snooker number one is one of the favourites to claim annual award

PUBLISHED : Friday, 23 February, 2018, 4:28pm
UPDATED : Friday, 23 February, 2018, 4:37pm

Who will be crowned Hong Kong’s best sportsperson in 2017? It wouldn’t be too difficult to make an educated guess.

Newly ranked snooker world number one Ng On-yee, track cyclist Sarah Lee Wai-sze or swimmer Siobhan Haughey?

They are all among the favourites.

Both Ng and Lee stood out in the public vote for the annual Samsung Sports Stars Awards, possibly because of their consistent performances and popularity in the community while Haughey, who became the first swimmer from Hong Kong to reach a World Championships final, also caught the eyes of many people.

Public voting accounts for 20 per cent of the total ballot while another 20 per cent is from the media. The biggest share comes from a judging panel, featuring sports administrators and retired athletes.

Ng became the world’s hottest player recently after she became the world’s number one ranked player for the first time earlier this week, overtaking long-standing previous incumbent Reanne Evans of Great Britain but it could help little as the public voting ended before the Lunar New Year.

“She is very hot at the moment but the latest world ranking would not help as it comes a bit late,” said organising committee chairman Vivien Lau Chiang-chu. “She still ranks number one in the public voting which means she is well recognised by the public and coupled with her performance in 2017, she is one of the favourites.”

Other athletes in the top eight of public voting include Angus Ng Ka-long (badminton), Cheung Ka-long (fencing), Yeung Man-wai (high jump), Yu Chui-yee (wheelchair fencing) and Tiffany Chan Tsz-ching (golf).

A presentation will be held at the Exhibition and Convention Centre in Wan Chai on March 27, with the most voted among the eight sports stars being crowned the best of 2017.

Ng, 27, achieved her best year in 2017 when she clinched four world championship titles hosted by two different bodies. She and Lee have dominated the last five athlete of the year awards, with Lee, a bronze medallist at the 2012 Olympic Games, being awarded the title in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016 while Ng was named the best athlete in 2015.

Other than reaching the World Championship final in the women’s 200 metres freestyle, Haughey also snatched two gold medals at the World University Games in Taipei last summer, making her a strong challenger for the top honour.

Snooker queen Ng On-yee and boxing idol Rex Tso voted best athletes by the media

Lee won a bronze medal in front of the home crowds when she came third in the women’s sprint at the 2017 track World Championships, held in Hong Kong for the first time at the Tseung Kwan O velodrome.

The annual awards will also present winners in other categories, including junior stars awards, team sport award, team event awards, promising stars awards and a sportsmanship award.