Singapore swimmer Joseph Schooling scored a hat trick of a different kind, taking home Sportsman of the Year honours for the third year running at the Singapore Sports Awards on Tuesday (8 Aug).
Awarded by the Singapore National Olympics Council, the awards recognise outstanding sporting achievements by Singapore athletes.
Schooling, a gold medallist in the 100m butterfly at the 2016 Olympics in Rio beat silat exponent Shakir Juanda and cue sports’ Peter Gilchrist to bag the award.
He also won the award in 2015, 2016 and 2012.
This year’s award was a special one for Schooling because he was in Singapore to receive the award. The previous two had been awarded while he was training in the United States.
Earlier on the same day, Schooling was also inducted into the Sport Hall of Fame, joining 55 other Singapore athletes who made an impact on Singapore’s sporting history.
Although the accolades from Singapore are pouring in, the swimmer is not resting on his laurels, and believes there is more than he can achieve.
“I just think I still want to accomplish more in my swimming career. I’m nowhere close to being done,” said Schooling to the media after the award ceremony.
“I’m definitely satisfied with accomplishing my lifelong dream but I still have more to go and more to give, that’s what keeps me getting out of bed in the morning,” he said.
Schooling’s Texas Longhorns head coach, Eddie Reese was named Coach of the Year at the same awards. Reese was instrumental in grooming Schooling into becoming an Olympic champion. He was the only nominee in the category when the selection was announced in July.
“Honestly i’m not surprised that he’s coach of the year, said Schooling. “There’s definitely many coaches deserving of it. But I’m biased. Eddie’s my coach and I’m glad we could win alongside each other. He’s really a great coach.”
Sportsman of the year – Joseph Schooling (swimming)
Sportswoman of the year – New Hui Fen (bowling)
Sportsgirl of the year – Ywen Lau (fencing)
Sportsboy of the year – Sheik Farhan Sheik Alau’ddin (silat)
Coach of the year – Eddie Reese
Team of the year – Stephenie Chen and Geraldine Lee, Canoe Women’s K2 500m
Best sports event of the year (local) – Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2016
Best sports event of the year (international) – HSBC Singapore Rugby Sevens 2016