Swimmers lead awards nominees

Updated: 2012-12-21 16:42

By Tang Zhe (chinadaily.com.cn)

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The 2012 Anta CCTV Sports Personality of the Year final nominees were unveiled in Beijing on Thursday.

The annual CCTV Sports Awards, recognized as China's "Sports Oscars", is regarded as the premier honors event on the Chinese sporting calendar.

After winning five gold medals, one silver and two bronze at the London Olympics, Chinese swimmers are among the main contenders.

Sun Yang, who won the Male Athlete of the Year award last year is expected to repeat that feat. The 21-year-old won the men's 400m and 1,500m freestyle events in London, becoming the first Chinese man ever to win an Olympic gold medal in swimming.

He will face challenges from table tennis player Zhang Jike, fencer Lei Sheng, badminton star Lin Dan and two-time Olympic champion boxer Zou Shiming.

Swimmers Ye Shiwen and Jiao Liuyang lead the list of contenders for Female Athlete of the Year. The 16-year-old Ye won gold medals in the 400m and 200m individual medley at the London Games, setting a world record in the 400m event and an Olympic record in the 200m final. Jiao won the 200m butterfly at the Games.

Chinese diver Wu Minxia, sailor Xu Lijia and shooter Yi Siling are also in the race for the prestigious award.

Xu, who won China's first Olympic gold medal in sailing in the Laser Radial class was also nominated for the Special Award of Merit, along with table tennis player Wang Hao, gymnast Chen Yibing, basketball player Wang Zhizhi and soccer coach Xu Genbao.

Other awards up for grabs are Coach of the Year, Non-Olympic Athlete of the Year, Newcomer of the Year, Team of the Year and Athlete with Disabilities of the Year.

The awards ceremony will be held at the National Stadium on Jan 19.