INCHEON: Malaysian world No. 1 squash player Nicol David is one of the eight nominees for the prestigious Samsung Most Valuable Player (MVP) award at the 17th Asian Games in Incheon.
Nicol is the first-ever Malaysian to be nominated for the award, which was first introduced in Thailand in 1998.
The 31-year-old won two golds in Incheon. She bagged the women’s singles gold and also helped Malaysia win the team event.
Nicol will be up against Japanese swimmer Kosuke Hagino, South Korean fencer Nam Hyun-hee, Chinese gymnast Yao Jinna, Thai sepaktakraw star Peachan Suriyan, Chinese shooter Cao Yifei, South Korean judoka Kim Jae-bum and North Korean world-record breaking weightlifter Kim Un-guk.
Malaysian chef de mission Datuk Danyal Balagopal Abdullah said that he was not surprised to see Nicol nominated for the award.
“Nicol deserves the nomination and I hope she wins the MVP award. This might be her last Asiad, so it would be great if she wins it.”
Journalists covering the Games will vote to decide the winner but the final decision lies with the award steering committee.
The winner will be named at the Games’ closing ceremony on Saturday.
Koji Ito, Japan’s track and field star, was the inaugural winner in 1998. In Busan in 2002, Japan won again through swimmer Kosuke Kitajima.
South Korean swimmer Park Tae-Hwan was the third winner in 2006 in Doha and badminton superstar Lin Dan of China was named the MVP in Guangzhou in 2010.