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Chinese Malaysian Players Win Olympians Titles
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Malaysia's titles for Olympians of the Year 2006 went to badminton pair Koo KienKeat-Tan Boon Heong and woman bowler Esther Cheah, all Chinese Malaysian players, local press reported Saturday.

Shuttlers Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong and bowler Esther Cheah were awarded the male and female Olympians of the Year by the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) Friday night here.

Koo, 21, and Tan, 19, went into the Doha Asian Games as a new combination but ended up in winning men's doubles gold, after defeating world champions Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng of China, and two Indonesian combinations.

As the biggest sweet surprise for Malaysian Doha delegation, their victory put an end to the country's 36-year-long wait for a badminton gold at the Asian Games.

The 20-year-old Cheah was even more impressive in Doha, as she captured two gold and three silvers.

Esther won the women's singles and team gold and settled for silver in the Masters, All-Events and trios, thus becoming the Malaysian player with the most number of medals at the Doha Asiad. Malaysia's Olympians of the Year award was initiated in 1993. 

For this year's award, players were evaluated mostly by their performances in the Doha Asia and Melbourne Commonwealth Games.

(Xinhua News Agency December 25, 2006)

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