Taiwanese Olympic gold medalist Kuo Hsing-chun (郭婞淳) on Friday received the Sports Elite Awards for best female athlete for the fourth time, while Olympics silver medalist Yang Yung-wei (楊勇緯) won the award for best male athlete for the first time.
The athletes were honored with the prestigious annual award at a ceremony in Taipei which, despite losing some luster with many award recipients either competing overseas or in quarantine, was attended by Vice President Lai Ching-te (賴清德).
Kuo and Yang were part of Taiwan’s Tokyo Olympics team this year, where Taiwanese athletes put in their best-ever showing by winning two gold, four silver, and six bronze medals to finish in 34th place overall based on the number of gold medals won.
Considered one of Taiwan’s national sporting heroes, Kuo has had a remarkable year.
As well as setting two world records at the Asian Championships in April, she also carried the flag for Taiwan at the Tokyo opening ceremony, where she went on to claim her first-ever Olympic gold.
Yang took home silver in the men’s 60-kg judo at the Tokyo Olympics — Taiwan’s first-ever in the sport at the games — and also won a gold medal at the Grand Slam tournament in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates.
His excellent season saw the Taiwanese judoka finish the year ranked world No.1 in the men’s 60-kg category.
Yang won his first best male athlete award ahead of Tokyo Olympics silver medalist gymnast Lee Chih-kai (李智凱), Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist golfer Pan Cheng-tsung (潘政琮), and archer Tang Chih-chun (湯智鈞).
Kuo won her fourth best female athlete award ahead of Tokyo Olympics karate bronze medalist Wen Tzu-yun (文姿云), Tokyo Olympics taekwondo bronze medalist Lo Chia-ling (羅嘉翎), Tokyo Olympic boxing bronze medalist Huang Hsiao-wen (黃筱雯), and Tokyo Olympic table tennis bronze medalist Cheng I-ching (鄭怡靜).
It is also Kuo’s fifth Sports Elite Award, after winning the best sportsmanship award in 2016.
The best coach award was won by Chen Hung-ling (陳宏麟) for leading men’s doubles badminton duo Lee Yang (李洋) and Wang Chi-lin (王齊麟) to gold at the Tokyo Olympics, while Lee and Wang also won the award for best outstanding sports team.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel